We analyze. You decide!
"No lie can live forever." Thomas Carlyle

An Analysis of the Literary Dependency
of The Desire of Ages, Chapter 47

      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.

Color Key

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)
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The Close of the Ministry.

I. The Descent From the Mount of Transfiguration.

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-

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dened them so much to hear about at all; from all fuller and distincter sight of which they shrink.

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      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

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again 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
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been 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!
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      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.”

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[This chapter is based on Matt. 17:9-21 ; Mark 9:9-29;
Luke 9:37-45.]

      The entire night had been passed in the mountain; and as the sun arose, Jesus and His disciples descended to the plain. Absorbed in thought, the disciples were awed and silent. Even Peter had not a word to say. Gladly would they have lingered in that holy place which had been touched with the light of heaven, and where the Son of God had manifested His glory; but there was work to be done for the people, who were already searching far and near for Jesus.

      At the foot of the mountain a large company had gathered, led hither by the disciples who had remained behind, but who knew whither Jesus had resorted. As the Saviour drew near, He charged His three companions to keep silence concerning what they had witnessed, saying, "Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead." The revelation made to the disciples was to be pondered in their own hearts, not to be published abroad. To relate it to the multitudes would excite only ridicule or idle wonder. And even the nine apostles would not understand the scene until after Christ had risen from the dead. How slow of comprehension even the three favored disciples were, is seen in the fact that notwithstanding all that Christ had said of what was before Him, they queried among themselves what the rising from the dead

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should mean. Yet they asked no explanation from Jesus. His words in regard to the future had filled them with sorrow; they sought no further revelation concerning that which they were fain to believe might never come to pass.

      As the people on the plain caught sight of Jesus, they ran to meet Him, greeting Him with expressions of reverence and joy. Yet His quick eye discerned that they were in great perplexity. The disciples appeared troubled. A circumstance had just occurred that had caused them bitter disappointment and humiliation.

      While they were waiting at the foot of the mountain, a father brought to them his son, to be delivered from a dumb spirit that tormented him. Authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, had been conferred on the disciples when Jesus sent out the twelve to preach through Galilee. As they went forth strong in faith, the evil spirits had obeyed their word. Now in the name of Christ they commanded the torturing spirit to leave his victim; but the demon only mocked them by a fresh display of his power. The disciples, unable to account for their defeat, felt that they were bringing dishonor upon themselves and their Master. And in the crowd there were scribes who made the most of this opportunity to humiliate them. Pressing around the disciples, they plied them with questions, seeking to prove that they and their Master were deceivers. Here, the rabbis triumphantly declared, was an evil spirit that neither the disciples nor Christ Himself could conquer. The people were inclined to side with the scribes, and a feeling of contempt and scorn pervaded the crowd.

      But suddenly the accusations ceased. Jesus and the three disciples were seen approaching, and with a quick revulsion of feeling the people turned to meet them. The night of communion with the heavenly glory had left its trace upon the Saviour and His companions. Upon their countenances was a light that awed the beholders. The scribes drew back in fear, while the people welcomed Jesus.

      As if He had been a witness of all that had occurred, the Saviour came to the scene of conflict, and fixing His gaze upon the scribes inquired, "What question ye with them?"

      But the voices so bold and defiant before were now silent. A hush had fallen upon the entire company. Now the afflicted father made his way through the crowd, and falling at the feet of Jesus, poured out the story of his trouble and disappointment.

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      "Master," he said, "I have brought unto Thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; and wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: . . . and I spake to Thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not."

      Jesus looked about Him upon the awe-stricken multitude, the caviling scribes, the perplexed disciples. He read the unbelief in every heart; and in a voice filled with sorrow He exclaimed, "O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you?" Then He bade the distressed father, "Bring thy son hither."

      The boy was brought, and as the Saviour's eyes fell upon him, the evil spirit cast him to the ground in convulsions of agony. He lay wallowing and foaming, rending the air with unearthly shrieks.

      Again the Prince of life and the prince of the powers of darkness had met on the field of battle,--Christ in fulfillment of His mission to "preach deliverance to the captives, . . . to set at liberty them that are bruised" (Luke 4:18), Satan seeking to hold his victim under his control. Angels of light and the hosts of evil angels, unseen, were pressing near to behold the conflict. For a moment, Jesus permitted the evil spirit to display his power, that the beholders might comprehend the deliverance about to be wrought.

      The multitude looked on with bated breath, the father in an agony of hope and fear. Jesus asked, "How long is it ago since this came unto him?" The father told the story of long years of suffering, and then, as if he could endure no more, exclaimed, "If Thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us." "If Thou canst!" Even now the father questioned the power of Christ.

      Jesus answers, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." There is no lack of power on the part of Christ; the healing of the son depends upon the father's faith. With a burst of tears, realizing his own weakness, the father casts himself upon Christ's mercy, with the cry, "Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief."

      Jesus turns to the suffering one, and says, "Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him." There is a cry, an agonized struggle. The demon, in passing, seems about to rend the life from his victim. Then the boy lies motionless, and apparently lifeless. The multitude whisper, "He is dead." But Jesus takes him by the hand, and lifting him up, presents him, in perfect soundness of mind and body, to his father. Father and son praise the name of

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their Deliverer. The multitude are "amazed at the mighty power of God," while the scribes, defeated and crestfallen, turn sullenly away.

      "If Thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us." How many a sin-burdened soul has echoed that prayer. And to all, the pitying Saviour's answer is, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." It is faith that connects us with heaven, and brings us strength for coping with the powers of darkness. In Christ, God has provided means for subduing every sinful trait, and resisting every temptation, however strong. But many feel that they lack faith, and therefore they remain away from Christ. Let these souls, in their helpless unworthiness, cast themselves upon the mercy of their compassionate Saviour. Look not to self, but to Christ. He who healed the sick and cast out demons when He walked among men is the same mighty Redeemer today. Faith comes by the word of God. Then grasp His promise, "Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out." John 6:37. Cast yourself at His feet with the cry, "Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief." You can never perish while you do this--never.

      In a brief space of time the favored disciples have beheld the extreme of glory and of humiliation. They have seen humanity as transfigured into the image of God, and as debased into the likeness of Satan. From the mountain where He has talked with the heavenly messengers, and has been proclaimed the Son of God by the voice from the radiant glory, they have seen Jesus descend to meet that most distressing and revolting spectacle, the maniac boy, with distorted countenance, gnashing his teeth in spasms of agony that no human power could relieve. And this mighty Redeemer, who but a few hours before stood glorified before His wondering disciples, stoops to lift the victim of Satan from the earth where he is wallowing, and in health of mind and body restores him to his father and his home.

      It was an object lesson of redemption,--the Divine One from the Father's glory stooping to save the lost. It represented also the disciples' mission. Not alone upon the mountaintop with Jesus, in hours of spiritual illumination, is the life of Christ's servants to be spent. There is work for them down in the plain. Souls whom Satan has enslaved are waiting for the word of faith and prayer to set them free.

      The nine disciples were yet pondering upon the bitter fact of their own failure; and when Jesus was once more alone with them, they questioned, "Why could not we cast him out?" Jesus answered them,

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"Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting." Their unbelief, that shut them out from deeper sympathy with
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Christ, and the carelessness with which they regarded the sacred work committed to them, had caused their failure in the conflict with the powers of darkness.

      The words of Christ pointing to His death had brought sadness and doubt. And the selection of the three disciples to accompany Jesus to the mountain had excited the jealousy of the nine. Instead of strengthening their faith by prayer and meditation on the words of Christ, they had been dwelling on their discouragements and personal grievances. In this state of darkness they had undertaken the conflict with Satan.

      In order to succeed in such a conflict they must come to the work in a different spirit. Their faith must be strengthened by fervent prayer and fasting, and humiliation of heart. They must be emptied of self, and be filled with the Spirit and power of God. Earnest, persevering supplication to God in faith--faith that leads to entire dependence upon God, and unreserved consecration to His work--can alone avail to bring men the Holy Spirit's aid in the battle against principalities and powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, and wicked spirits in high places.

      "If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed," said Jesus, "ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove." Though the grain of mustard seed is so small, it contains that same mysterious life principle which produces growth in the loftiest tree. When the mustard seed is cast into the ground, the tiny germ lays hold of every element that God has provided for its nutriment, and it speedily develops a sturdy growth. If you have faith like this, you will lay hold upon God's word, and upon all the helpful agencies He has appointed. Thus your faith will strengthen, and will bring to your aid the power of heaven. The obstacles that are piled by Satan across your path, though apparently as insurmountable as the eternal hills, shall disappear before the demand of faith. "Nothing shall be impossible unto you."

Longest Phrases Index
(nothing less than three word phrases are included here; I found these phrases)

      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

© David J. Conklin (February 1, 2006)