Some critics have accused Ellen White of plagiarizing the contents of The Desire of Ages from the writings of various authors. But, did she really? Below is an analysis of the alleged comparisons.
One problem with those who are "victims" of parallelomania is that they confuse the mere presence of a few words in both texts as being evidence of plagiarism. They completely overlook the context and meaning of the words that are similar, an even more importantly, the far greater number of words that are dissimilar.
It has been noted by students of plagiarism that one can make a work look plagiarized when it is not by carefully using ellipses and discarding all the material that is different. What we want to do is determine whether the critics did a fair analysis, or whether their comparisons actually distorted reality. Accordingly, we have coded the text so that you, the reader, can easily come to your own conclusion. Paragraphs that are not coded means that neither the critics, nor Dr. Veltman and his team of researchers, could not, or did not, find anything worthy of note.
Material in Ellen G. White that is an exact, word-for-word match to her alleged source.
Material in Ellen G. White that is similar to her alleged source.
Words that are either an exact, or similar, match of the source, but are also an exact, or similar, match to Biblical material.
Material that is represented in either Rea's book or Dr. Veltman's study by an ellipsis.
Material dropped from the beginning or end of the paragraph of the alleged source in Rea's book.
Material clipped from the beginning or end of a sentence in Rea's book, without giving the reader any indication of such. (Either a capital letter or a period appears where it should not, hiding the fact that material is missing.)
Material that was mis-capitalized or mis-abbreviated in Rea.
Typical author's caveat: all errors are, of course, mine. If you find any errors please let me know and I'll fix them.
|W. Hanna The Life of Christ. (1863)||Ellen G. White The Desire of Ages. (1898)|
The Close of the Ministry.
Matt. 17:9-27; Mark 9:9-32; Luke 9:37-45.
Morning has dawned upon the mountain-top which had witnessed the wonderful night-scene of the transfiguration. Jesus and the three disciples begin to descend. The silence they at first observe is broken by our Lord turning to his disciples, and saying, “Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.” A few days before, Jesus had straitly charged them that they should tell no man that he was the Christ. The discovery would be premature. The people were not prepared for it. It would come unsuitably as well as unseasonably from the lips of the apostles. It might serve to interrupt that course of things which was to guide onward to the great decease to be accomplished at Jerusalem. And whatever reasons there were for a temporary concealment from the multitude of such knowledge as to their Master’s true character and office as the apostles possessed, still stronger reasons were there that they should preserve silence as to this vision on the mount, the narration of which would be sure at that time to provoke nothing but derision. Not even to the other nine were the three to speak of it till the key to its true interpretation was in all their hands, for even by them, in the meantime, it was a little likely to be rightly apprehended, and it was not a topic to be rudely handled as a thing of idle and ignorant talk. The seal thus put upon the lips of the three, we have no reason to believe was broken till the time came when they stood relieved from the obligation it imposed. All the more curiously would the matter be scanned by the three when alone. The thing that most perplexed them as they did so, was what the rising from the dead could mean. They did not venture to put any question to their Master. Now, upon the mountain-side, as afterwards, they were afraid to ask him about it, with something perhaps of the feeling of those who do not like to ask more about a matter which it has sad-
Page 342dened them so much to hear about at all; from all fuller and distincter sight of which they shrink.
Page 343; skipping over one paragraph
But we must now turn our eye from the little group conversing about Elias, as they descended the hillside, to what was occurring elsewhere, down in the valley, among the villages that lay at the base of the mountain. Among the villagers there had occurred a case of rare and complicated distress. A youth, the only son of his father, had fallen the victim to strange and fearful paroxysms, in which his own proper speech was taken from him, and he uttered hideous sounds, and foamed, and gnashed his teeth, and was cast sometimes into the fire, and sometimes into the water, from which he was drawn with difficulty, half dead. To bodily and mental distemper, occult and incurable, there was added demoniac possession, mingling itself with, and adding new horrors to, the terrible visitations. With the arrival of Christ and his disciples in this remote region, there had come the fame of the wonderful cures that he had elsewhere effected; cures, many of them, of the very same kind of malady with which this youth was so grievously afflicted. On learning that the company of Galilean strangers had arrived in the neighborhood of his own dwelling, the father of this youth thought that the time had come of relief from that heavy domestic burden that for years he had been bearing. He brought to them his son. Unfortunately, it so happened that he brought him when Christ and his three disciples were up in the mountain, and the nine were left behind. It was up to them, therefore, that the application for relief was made. It does not appear that when in company with Christ the disciples were in the habit of claiming or exercising any preternatural power over disease. No case, at least, of a cure effected by their hands in such circumstances is recorded. But in that short, experimental tour, when they had been sent out away from him to go two by two through Galilee, Jesus had given them power over unclean spirits--a power which they had exercised without check or failure. And now, when they are left alone, and this most painful case is brought to them, they imagine that the same power is in their hands, and they essay to exercise it. In their Master’s name
Page 344again and again they command that unclean spirit to go forth, but their words return to them void. They stand baffled and covered with confusion before the crowd that had gathered to witness the cure. They can give no reason, for they know none, why the failure has taken place. Nor are they suffered to skulk away in their defeat. Some scribes are there, ready enough to take advantage of the awkward dilemma into which they have been thrown by assuming an authority which turns out to be impotent--their Master’s character involved in their defeat. We can well imagine what an instrument of reproach would be put thus into the hands of these scribes, and how diligently and effectively they would employ it; pressing the disciples with questions to which they could give no satisfactory replies, and turning the whole occurrence to the best account in the way of casting discredit upon the Master, as well as upon his disciples. A great multitude had in the meantime assembled; a profane and scoffing and half-malignant spirit had been stealing into the hearts of many, when Jesus and the three are seen coming down from the mountain-side. The suddenness of his appearance--his coming at the very time that his disciples were hard pressed, perhaps, too the very calmness and majesty of his appearance, as some of that glory of the mountain-top still lingers around him--produces a quick revolution of feeling in the fickle multitude. Straightway a kind of awe--half admiration, half alarm--comes over them, and “greatly amazed,” they leave the scribes and discomfited disciples, and they run to him and salute him--not in mockery, certainly, or hailing him as one whose claims upon their homage they are ready to set aside--but rather with a rebound from their recent incredulity, prepared to pay to him the profounder respect. And now, as on some battlefield which subordinate officers have entered in absence of their chief, and in which they have been worsted by the foe, at the crisis of the day the chief himself appears, and at once the tide of battle turns--so acts the presence of Christ. Bearing back with him the multitude that had run forth to greet him, he comes up to where the scribes are dealing with the apostles, and says to them, “What question ye with them?” The questioners are struck dumb-stand silent before the Lord. In the midst of the silence a man comes forward, kneels down before Jesus, tells him what has happened, how fearful the malady was that had fallen upon his only child, how he brought the child to the disciples and they had failed to cast the devil out of him. Too much occupied with his own grief, too eager to seize the chance now given, that the Master may do what his disciples could not, he makes no mention of the scribes, or of the hostile feeling against him they have
Page 345been attempting to excite. But Jesus knows it all, sees how in all the various regions then around him, in the hearts of the people who speak to him, in the hearts of the disciples from whom he had temporarily been parted, in the hearts of those scribes who had been indulging in an unworthy and premature triumph, the spirit of incredulity had been acting. Contemplating the sad picture of prevailing unbelief, there bursts from his lips the mournful ejaculation, ‘O faithless, incredulous, and perverse generation! how long shall I be with you and you remain ignorant of who and what I am? How shall I suffer you, as you continue to exhibit such want of trust in my willingness and power to help and save you?’ Not often does Christ give us any insight into the personal emotions stirred up within his heart by the scenes among which he moves-not often does there issue from his lips any thing approaching to complaint. Here, for a moment, out of the fulness of his heart he speaketh, revealing as he does so a fountain-head of sorrow lying deep within his soul, the fulness and bitterness of whose waters, as they were so constantly rising up to flood and overflow his spirit, who can gauge? What must it have been for Jesus Christ to come into such close familiar contact with the misconceptions and incredulities, and dislikes and oppositions of the men he lived among? With a human nature like our own, yet far more exquisitely sensitive than ours to injustice and false reproach, what a constant strain and burden must thus have been laid upon his heart! What an incalculable amount of patience must it have called him to exercise!
In answer to this confession and this prayer, something still further might have been said, had not our Lord perceived a fresh pressure in upon them of the neighboring crowd, at sight of which he delayed no longer, but turning to him who still lies on the ground before him, in words of sternness and decision he says, “Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him!” A fresh cry of agony, a last and most violent convulsion, and the poor afflicted youth lies stretched out so motionless that many, looking at him, say that he is dead. But Jesus takes him by the hand and lifts him up, and delivers him perfectly cured to his glad and grateful father. The work was done; the crowd dispersed, “all amazed at the mighty power of God.”
[This chapter is based on Matt. 17:9-21 ; Mark 9:9-29;
what the rising from the dead, page 426
brought to them his son, page 427
Jesus and the three, page 427
But Jesus takes him by the hand, page 428