Amalgamation: Ellen G. White Statements
Regarding Conditions at the Time of the Flood

By Francis D. Nichol

(Adapted from his book Ellen G. White and Her Critics, pp. 306-322)

In the summer of 1864 the "Steam Press of the Seventh-day Adventist Publishing Association" at Battle Creek, Michigan, published a three-hundred-page Ellen G. White volume entitled "Important Facts of Faith in Connection With the History of Holy Men of Old." This was the third of a four-volume series carrying the general title of Spiritual Gifts.

In this work the narrative of the early history of the world is presented, commencing with "The Creation" and carrying down to the giving of the law to Israel, these matters, as the author states in her Preface, having been opened to her in vision.

In Chapter 6, entitled "Crime Before the Flood," Mrs. White in describing the deplorable conditions which led to the catastrophic destruction of the world, speaks of the amalgamation of man and beast. In the next chapter there is another similar reference. Occasionally inquiry is made as to just what Mrs. White did write in this connection and what her statements meant, and why they are not found in her later works, now current. Some have linked the amalgamation statements with the memory of ancient myths regarding strange creatures produced by unholy alliance between human beings and beasts, and have asked if the E. G. White statements do not give support to these fables. It is also intimated that they tend toward evolution.

The only passages in Mrs. White's writings that are of interest in this connection are found in Spiritual Gifts, volume 3, already mentioned and republished in Spirit of Prophecy, volume 1, in 1870. The first, in chapter 6, "Crime Before the Flood," is this:

But if there was one sin above another which called for the destruction of the race by the flood, it was the base crime of amalgamation of man and beast which defaced the image of God, and caused confusion everywhere. God purposed to destroy by a flood that powerful, long-lived race that had corrupted their ways before him.--Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, p. 64.

Chapter 7 is entitled "The Flood," and contains this statement:

Every species of animal which God had created were preserved in the ark. The confused species which God did not create, which were the result of amalgamation, were destroyed by the Flood. Since the Flood there has been amalgamation of man and beast, as may be seen in the almost endless varieties of species of animals, and in certain races of men.--Page 75.

These are Mrs. White's only statements on the subject of the amalgamation of man and beast.

Just what Mrs. White meant by these passages has been the occasion of some speculation through the years, and two explanations have been set forth. Some have held that she taught not only that men and beasts have cohabited but also that progeny resulted. However, those who hold this view have contended that this does not support the doctrine of evolution. The evolution theory depends for its life on the idea that small, simple living structures can gradually evolve into ever higher forms of life, finally bringing forth man.

That more or less closely related forms of life may cross and produce hybrids is not questioned by creationists today. That, in the long ago, when virility was greater, and conditions possibly in some respects different, more diverse forms of life might have crossed--such as man and some higher forms of animals--can be set forth only as an assumption. But this assumption has marshaled against it the whole weight of scientific belief today. Of course, scientists have been wrong, at times, in reasoning that all the past must be understood in terms of the processes we now see going on.

We might leave the matter as being beyond the range of investigation or proof. The Bible itself contains some such statements, as all students of the Scriptures well know.

But there is another explanation of these amalgamation passages which is well supported and we believe more satisfying and which avoids any conflict with the observable data of science.

What Does the Word "Amalgamation" Mean?

First, what is the general meaning of the word "amalgamation"? Is it ever used to describe the depraved act of cohabitation of man with beast? No dictionaries we have had access to, not even the exhaustive Oxford English Dictionary, indicate that the term has ever been used to describe this act. There is another standard English word that may properly be used to describe such cohabitation. The primary usage of the word "amalgamation" through long years has been to describe the fusion of certain metals, and by extension, to denote the fusing of races of men. In the mid-nineteenth century the word was commonly employed in the United States to describe the intermarriage of the white and the Negro race.[1]

The long-established meaning of the key word "amalgamation" as the blending of races should weigh heavily in determining the interpretation of the questioned passages.

Second, the whole tenor of Mrs. White's writings provides strong testimony against the claim that she is here seeking solemnly to present as fact some ancient stories about abnormal man-beast progeny. Her writings are not tainted with fanciful fables of the long ago. Rather, they have a strongly matter-of-fact quality to them. If she had been a dreamer and visionary, how frequently might she have regaled her readers with myths and weird stories of antiquity.

What Does the Key Phrase Mean?

The crux of the "amalgamation" passages is this: "amalgamation of man and beast." That statement could be construed to mean amalgamation of man with beast, or amalgamation of man and of beast. In a construction like this the preposition "of" is not necessarily repeated, though it may be clearly implied. We might speak of the scattering of man and beast over the earth, but we do not therefore mean that previously man and beast were fused in one mass at one geographical spot. We simply mean the scattering of man over the earth and the scattering of beasts over the earth, though the original location of the two groups might have been on opposite sides of the earth. In other words, the scattering of man and of beast.

Then why may we not rightly understand this particular grammatical construction in the same way when speaking of amalgamation? If we may speak of a scattering of man and beast without at all implying that scattering started from a single spot, why may we not speak of the amalgamation of man and beast without at all implying that man and beast came together in one place in fusion?

We believe that the meaning of the key phrase in question is found by understanding it to read: "amalgamation of man and [of] beast." Thus the passage would be speaking of the amalgamation of different races of mankind and the amalgamation of different races of animals. The grammatical construction and common usage permit us to understand "of" as being implied.

The Results of Amalgamation

But does simply the amalgamation of different races of men and the amalgamation of different species of animals suffice to measure up to the description of the evil character of amalgamation and the results that followed from it; namely, destruction by a flood? Let us look first at the amalgamation of races of men. Note again the text of the first quotation cited (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, p. 64), and observe these characteristics of amalgamation:

1. It was the "one sin above another which called for the destruction of the race by the Flood."
2. It "defaced the image of God, and caused confusion everywhere."
3. "That powerful, long-lived race . . . had corrupted their ways before him."

Two distinct groups of human beings are presented at the opening of the chapter in Spiritual Gifts, volume 3, entitled "Crime Before the Flood":

(1) "The descendants of Seth," and (2) "The descendants of Cain." The two groups were distinct in two marked ways: (1) The first group "felt the curse but lightly." (2) The second group, "who turned from God and trampled upon his authority, felt the effects of the curse more heavily, especially in stature and nobleness of form." "The descendants of Seth were called the sons of God--the descendants of Cain, the sons of men." Here two races are presented which differ both in moral and physical characteristics.

Then follow immediately these words: "As the sons of God mingled with the sons of men, they became corrupt, and by intermarriage with them, lost, through the influence of their wives, their peculiar, holy character, and united with the sons of Cain in their idolatry."--Pages 60, 61. Next comes a description of their evil course of idolatry, particularly their prostituting to sinful ends the gold and silver and other material possessions that were theirs. Mrs. White then observes: "They corrupted themselves with those things which God had placed upon the earth for man's benefit."--Page 63. From a discussion of idolatry she turns to polygamy and makes this statement: "The more men multiplied wives to themselves, the more they increased in wickedness and unhappiness."--Page 63.

Even in this brief chapter we find sufficient to support the position that the judgment of a flood upon men was because of the amalgamation of races of men. Two races are presented. The amalgamation of the two results in corruption and idolatry, and polygamy only increases the corruption and wickedness. The disputed passage says that God brought the Flood because men "had corrupted their ways before him."

The Divine Image Defaced

Let us now note parallel passages in Mrs. White's writings. In Patriarchs and Prophets, where she writes much more at length on the subject, she speaks thus of the descendants of Seth and Cain:

For some time the two classes remained separate. The race of Cain, spreading from the place of their first settlement, dispersed over the plains and valleys where the children of Seth had dwelt; and the latter, in order to escape from their contaminating influence, withdrew to the mountains, and there made their home. So long as this separation continued, they maintained the worship of God in its purity. But in the lapse of time they ventured, little by little, to mingle with the inhabitants of the valleys. This association was productive of the worst results. "The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair." The children of Seth, attracted by the beauty of the daughters of Cain's descendants, displeased the Lord by intermarrying with them. Many of the worshipers of God were beguiled into sin by the allurements that were now constantly before them, and they lost their peculiar, holy character. Mingling with the depraved, they became like them in spirit and in deeds; the restrictions of the seventh commandment were disregarded, "and they took them wives of all which they chose." The children of Seth went "in the way of Cain;" they fixed their minds upon worldly prosperity and enjoyment, and neglected the commandments of the Lord."--Pages 81, 82.

Here Mrs. White paints a picture of cumulative wickedness, climaxing in the Flood, and stemming largely from the amalgamation of the "race of Cain" and the "children of Seth." We are using the word "amalgamation" in its proper dictionary meaning, and according to the common usage of the time in which Mrs. White wrote--the intermarriage of different races.

Further on in Patriarchs and Prophets Mrs. White declares:

Polygamy was practiced at an early date. It was one of the sins that brought the wrath of God upon the antediluvian world. Yet after the flood it again became wide-spread. It was Satan's studied effort to pervert the marriage institution, to weaken its obligations, and lessen its sacredness; for in no surer way could he deface the image of God in man, and open the door to misery and vice.--Page 338.

In a comment on the history of Israel, she observes:

It came to be a common practice to intermarry with the heathen. . . . The enemy rejoiced in his success in effacing the divine image from the minds of the people that God had chosen as His representatives.--Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 499.

Then take this passage from another of Mrs. White's writings:

Unhallowed marriages of the sons of God with the daughters of men, resulted in apostasy which ended in the destruction of the world by a flood.--Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 93.

Parallel Passages Summarized

Let us summarize: The result of the breaking down of the marriage institution, and particularly the intermarriage between the children of God and the heathen, was to "deface the image of God in man." Further, "Unhallowed marriages of the sons of God with the daughters of men" carried mankind irresistibly forward in increasing iniquity "which ended in the destruction of the world by a flood." Substituting the word "amalgamation" for "marriage" in the above quotations, note the striking parallel to the following statements in the disputed passage: "The base crime of amalgamation . . . defaced the image of God"; and, "God purposed to destroy by a flood that powerful, long-lived race that had corrupted their ways before Him."

In none of the parallel passages we have quoted, or in any others that might be cited, does Mrs. White speak of the cohabitation of man with beast as being a feature of the gross and dismal picture of antediluvian wickedness that precipitated the Flood. On the contrary, it would appear that she speaks of intermarriage of the race of Cain and the race of Seth, with its inevitable train of idolatry, polygamy, and kindred evils, as the cause of the Flood. And all this harmonizes with the earlier quoted statement in the opening paragraph of the chapter that contains the passage in question.

As the sons of God mingled with the sons of men, they became corrupt, and by intermarriage with them, lost, through the influence of their wives, their peculiar, holy character, and united with the sons of Cain in their idolatry.--Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, pp. 60, 61.

As already stated, this introduction to the chapter "Crime Before the Flood" is followed by a recital of the idolatry that grew rampant, the denial of God, the theft, the polygamy, the murder of men, and the destruction of animal life. Then comes immediately the disputed passage, as though summarizing; "But if there was one sin above another which called for the destruction of the race by the Flood, it was the base crime of amalgamation of man and beast which defaced the image of God, and caused confusion everywhere."[2]

One apparent stumbling block in the way of accepting this interpretation of the passage as an intermarriage of races of men and a crossing of different species of animals is the construction of the statement: "amalgamation of man and beast which defaced the image of God." How could the crossing of species of animals do this?

But let us look more closely at what she says. Two results follow from the "amalgamation of [1] man and [2] beast": It (1) "defaced the image of God," and (2) "caused confusion everywhere." We have seen how the marriage, the amalgamation, of the races of men produced the first of the results. Why could we not properly consider that the amalgamation of the races, or species, of animals produced the second, that is, "caused confusion everywhere"? When two related things are described in one sentence, it does not follow that we must understand that all the results listed flow from each of the two.

Second Passage Examined

This brings us to a consideration of the second of the two passages relating to amalgamation:

Every species of animal which God had created were preserved in the ark. The confused species which God did not create, which were the result of amalgamation, were destroyed by the flood. Since the flood there has been amalgamation of man and beast, as may be seen in the almost endless varieties of species of animals, and in certain races of men.--Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, p. 75.

This passage is separated from the first by only a few pages. The intervening pages give the account of the Flood.

Here she speaks of "every species of animal which God had created," in contrast with "the confused species which God did not create." "Confused species" of what? The construction permits only one answer: Species of animal. But an amalgamation of man with beast would produce, not a species of animal, but a hybrid man-beast species, whatever that might be. Mrs. White is here most certainly speaking of "confused species" of animals. And she says simply that such "confused species" "were the result of amalgamation."

Let us summarize, now, by placing in parallel columns the substance of two statements by Mrs. White:

         Amalgamation of Man                  Amalgamation of Beast

The intermarriage, the amalgamation,   The amalgamation of "species of
of races of men defaced the image of   animals" resulted in "confused
God.                                   species."

We believe these parallel passages fully warrant the conclusion, already reached, that when Mrs. White said, "amalgamation of man and beast," she meant (1) the amalgamation of races of men, and (2) the amalgamation of species of animals. The first "defaced the image of God," the second "caused confusion everywhere."

Three Important Conclusions

Mrs. White says that "since the flood" there "has been amalgamation of man and beast," and adds that the results may be seen in (1) "almost endless varieties of species of animals," and in (2) "certain races of men." There are several important conclusions that follow from this passage:

1. Mrs. White speaks of two clearly distinguished groups that testify to this amalgamation. There are (1) "species of animals" and (2) "races of men." There is no suggestion that there were species part man and part animal. But how could there be amalgamation of man with animal and the result be anything else than hybrid man-animal species? She does not even hint of subhuman monsters or caricatures of man. On the contrary, as just noted, she speaks unequivocally of "species of animals" and "races of men." She does not single out or name any particular race as bearing the evidence of this amalgamation.

2. Mrs. White speaks of the "almost endless varieties of species of animals" that have resulted from amalgamation. Now it has been suggested that Mrs. White in the matter of amalgamation reflected the thinking of those who believed the fiction of man-animal crosses. If we rightly understand that fiction, as it has been wafted through the centuries by the winds of credulity, a few large, mythical creatures of antiquity were supposed to have resulted from a union of man with animals. And these creatures were always supposed to reveal both human and animal features. But there is nothing in the ancient fiction that supported the idea that "almost endless varieties of species of animals" were the result of an unnatural cross of man with animals. Mrs. White is here certainly not expressing an ancient, mythical view. Not even the credulous pagans, wholly devoid of biological knowledge, would have thought of entertaining such an idea. How much more reasonable to interpret the passage to mean that these "almost endless varieties of species of animals" resulted from an amalgamation of previously existing forms of animal life!

3. Mrs. White calls upon the reader to look about him for proof of what she is saying. In other words, whatever this amalgamation has been, its fruitage is evident today. "As may be seen," she says, "in the almost endless varieties of species of animals, and in certain races of men." But can anything be "seen" in our day that would provide support for the ancient myth of beast-men? Certainly there is nothing in the savage races of some remote heathen lands that even suggests a cross between man and animals.[3] And if the most degraded race of men does not suggest such a cross, much less do any species of animals suggest it. But the results of the amalgamation of which Mrs. White speaks "may be seen" by the reader.

Darwinism and Creationism

At the time she wrote her amalgamation statement in 1864, Darwin's influence was only beginning to be felt in the world. Until he published his Origin of Species (Nov. 24, 1859), most scientists, and religionists generally, had held firmly to the view that the species are "fixed," that is, they cannot be crossed. Darwin theorized that all creation is in flux, with no ultimate bounds on any form of life. He reasoned that natural law, expressing itself through natural selection and survival of the fittest, causes simple forms to become increasingly complex and to rise constantly in the scale of life, until man finally appears. His theory and the doctrine of the fixity of species could not live together. One devoured the other. To Darwin and those who agreed with him, it seemed that the chief obstacle to acceptance of his theory was the doctrine of species fixity. And to orthodox Christians belief in species fixity seemed absolutely essential to belief in Genesis.

Thus when the battle began between the Darwinites and the believers in Genesis the fighting was chiefly over this question of the fixity of species. Creationists generally considered the term "species" as equivalent to the "kinds," in Genesis, to each of which was given the divine order to "bring forth . . . after his kind." Gen.1:24. Such an equating of "species" and "kind" we now know to be unwarranted.

The outcome of such an uneven fight is known to all. Evolutionists had little trouble in proving that there are "endless varieties of species of animals," if we might borrow Mrs. White's words in her amalgamation statement. And whenever creationists have sought to make their stand on the point of fixity of species, as that term is generally understood, they have been put to rout.

Present-day creationists who have any knowledge of genetics, which treats of the laws governing "heredity and variations among related organisms," fare much better than did their fighting fathers. Genetics shows how endless varieties may develop within certain limits--the limits of the potential variations within the original strain--but no farther. In other words, the simple fact of variations in species does not, in itself, provide any proof for evolution. That much is certain. Thus we may believe in "endless varieties of species" after Ararat without believing in evolution. Mrs. White wrote in 1864 that these "almost endless varieties" "may be seen," though creationists at that time, and for about a half century more, saw no such thing; they saw only fixity of species. Yet Mrs. White had no leanings toward Darwin's theory. From the outset she spoke vigorously against evolution!

Was It Sin?

Mrs. White describes the "amalgamation of man and beast" as a "sin" and a "base crime," but why should the amalgamation of various species of animals be thus described?

Note first that Mrs. White, in the chapter "Crime Before the Flood," is using the word "crime" as loosely synonymous with "sin." The key word before us, therefore, is "sin." And what is sin? It is transgression of the law of God. This is often restricted in theological thinking to violations of the Ten Commandments, the moral law. That Mrs. White frequently uses the word "sin" in a much larger sense, as including any violation of so-called natural laws, is evident from an examination of her writings. The reason she does this is that she declares that these so-called laws of nature are as truly an expression of the mind and will of God as are the Ten Commandments. For example: "It is just as much sin to violate the laws of our being as to break one of the ten commandments, for we cannot do either without breaking God's law."--Testimonies for the Church,vol. 2, p. 70.

Now let us turn to the Bible record of the condition of the whole created world, man and beast, before the Flood:

"And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them." Gen. 6:7.

Why should the Lord repent that He had "made them," the beasts and birds and creeping things, as well as man? In a few verses farther on is found the answer:

"And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his [A.R.V. their] way upon the earth." Gen. 6:12.

"And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man." Gen. 7:21.

The Plan of God for Eden

When God first made the world He placed upon it a wide variety of animals and plants, distributed over hills and valleys, on sunny plain and in shady dell. The picture was one of beauty and harmony in diversity. We can, of course, only conjecture as to details of the Edenic world. The record declares that God commanded that each form of life should bring forth "after his kind." Gen. 1:24.

And the fossil records bear silent testimony that between the major forms of life there appear to be no intermediary forms. There are sharp gaps instead. Whether the Lord designed that His perfect earth should also preserve distinctions between the more closely related forms of life, we can only venture a guess. But if He placed all these more or less closely related forms upon the earth, it would seem a reasonable assumption that He did so as an expression of His divine conception of what a perfect world should be like.

We think this is even more than a reasonable assumption in the light of specific counsel later given to Israel, as God sought to set up in this sinful world a government according to the plans of heaven. Through Moses God said to Israel:

"Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind; thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee." Lev. 19:19. (See also Deut. 22:9-11.)

Satan and the Animal Kingdom

The Bible presents a picture of a controversy between God and the devil that starts with the beginnings of our world and covers everything that has to do with our world. That Satan, as a free moral agent, has been allowed of God to roam the earth and use his diabolical skill in creating disorder and destruction, the Bible amply testifies.

The first instance of Satan's attempt to bring disorder in our world was his speaking through an animal, a serpent. And though Satan was the instigator of the serpent's wily words, the Lord included the serpent in the judgments meted out at the fall.

Where the Scripture record is so brief we must be slow to dogmatize. But we may find in the fact of Satan, his evil purposes, and this specifically mentioned instance of his control of a member of the animal kingdom, a strong suggestion that the animal kingdom has suffered from his diabolical cunning. We cannot believe that in Eden there were blood-thirsty beasts, ill-tempered, snarling, and vicious. All believers in the Bible grant that these evil changes in the beasts were the result of sin. But how could a beast, which does not have a moral nature, and therefore has no knowledge of sin, be changed in nature by the entrance of sin into the life of Adam and Eve? The Christian mind will not permit the idea that God so changed the animals. In the fact of Satan, whose domination of the serpent is recorded for our learning, is surely found the only real explanation of the sorry change that came over the animal kingdom. Part of that change, we believe, was the confusing of the species, the blurring of a wondrous picture of divine harmony in diversity.

A Belief Consistent With Scripture

We grant that this belief as to the cause of the confusing of species cannot be supported by a clear text of Scripture. We affirm only that this belief is consistent with such scriptures as discuss those earliest days. And nothing more than this need be affirmed in order to protect the belief from being lightly dismissed by any Bible believer, as an unreasonable explanation.

It is evident that on this view of the confusion of species in the animal kingdom we find a satisfying answer to the question: How could the crossing of different forms of animal life be described as sin? Was sin involved in the activity of the serpent? We all answer Yes. But we immediately think of Satan. Even so with the crossing of animals. Any and every move to mar God's original, orderly plan can be described only as sin.

Mrs. White Focuses on Satan as Evil Power

One cannot read far in Mrs. White's writings before becoming aware that she views the whole drama of our world from its earliest days onward as a great struggle between God and the devil.[4] Mrs. White pictures Satan as stalking over the earth, bent on disorder and devastation, even as the Bible pictures him. It is true that she did not specifically refer to Satan in the amalgamation statements in Spiritual Gifts. However, another reference to amalgamation discloses her views as to the cause of certain of the changes that took place in our world after Adam and Eve fell. The statement reads:

Not one noxious plant was placed in the Lord's great garden, but after Adam and Eve sinned, poisonous herbs sprang up. In the parable of the sower the question was asked the Master, "Didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? how then hath it tares?" The Master answered, "An enemy hath done this." All tares are sown by the evil one. Every noxious herb is of his sowing, and by his ingenious methods of amalgamation he has corrupted the earth with tares.--Selected Messages, book 2, p. 288.

This statement, viewed in the setting of the whole tenor of Mrs. White's writings which attribute to Satan the active responsibility for all evil in our world, fully warrants us in concluding that she attributed to Satan the "confused species" of animals. Hence she would most certainly describe these "species" as a manifestation of sin, even as she could properly speak of the appearance of insensate but "noxious, poisonous herbs" as an exhibit of the activity of the "evil one." Thus her amalgamation statement regarding "sin" is consistent with all that Scripture has revealed of earth's early days, in terms of the interpretation we have given to the key phrase, "amalgamation of man and beast."

Statement Not Found in "Patriarchs and Prophets"

We come now to the consideration of the fact that the amalgamation statements were not incorporated by Mrs. White in Patriarchs and Prophets, now current, and the natural inquiry as to why these statements do not there appear. Some have conjectured that these two statements have been purposely suppressed.

The fact that a passage is not retained in later publications, or that a particular book is not republished, is not in itself valid ground for assuming that suppression has occurred. The groundlessness of such a suggestion is made transparently clear when we give these pertinent facts in the case:

From 1858 to 1864 there appeared from Mrs. White's pen four small volumes carrying the general title Spiritual Gifts. With the exception of volume 2, which is largely autobiographical, and the latter half of volume 4, the volumes present a portrayal of sacred history from the creation to Eden restored.

From 1870 to 1884 she brought forth four larger volumes, under the title The Spirit of Prophecy. These volumes cover more fully the subject of man's religious history from Eden to Eden. In large part the material in Spiritual Gifts, except the autobiographical volume, is reproduced in The Spirit of Prophecy. Often the text of the former is exactly reproduced, chapter after chapter, in the latter. In some instances there are deletions, and often there are additions. A detailed study of the matter reveals that here apply the principles by which an author, in bringing out a new and more complete treatment of a theme, may properly add or subtract or revise. The two amalgamation passages appear verbatim in The Spirit of Prophecy, in volume 1, published in 1870.

How easy it would have been for Mrs. White to drop out the amalgamation passages in the 1870 edition. The passages had already raised questions, as is evidenced by the reference to them in Uriah Smith's work, Objections to the Visions Answered, published in 1868. That was the time to "suppress" them if she cared to do so. But two years later she reproduced the chapters containing the passages, so that both the passages and the context remain the same.

Up to this time Mrs. White had been writing quite exclusively for the church. The next step was the planning of books that might be sold to those outside the Seventh-day Adventist church, even to those who might not have any religious background or connection. Naturally, included in such a plan would be the desire to give an appropriate emphasis to certain truths that distinguish the preaching of the Advent movement. Now, even as a minister, turning from his congregation to address a mixed multitude, would quite change his treatment of a subject, by addition, subtraction, or revision, even so would a writer. In 1890 the great subject of man's early history, which is the theme of Spiritual Gifts, volume 3, and Spirit of Prophecy, volume 1, was covered in a new way in the book Patriarchs and Prophets, prepared for sale to the general public. This is one of a set of current works which cover the religious history of man from Eden to Eden, and known generally as the 'Conflict of the Ages' Series. In each volume of the series the field is covered in an amplified and sometimes new way, and no pretense is made of reprinting an earlier work. It would be just as consistent to contend that the whole four volumes of The Spirit of Prophecy have been suppressed as to contend that a certain five sentences--the total involved in the amalgamation passages--have been suppressed.

In this connection we remind the reader that the four volumes of Spiritual Gifts, which are the original source of the amalgamation passages, are currently available in a facsimile edition.


[1] The Century Dictionary, edition of 1889, says, under "Amalgamation": "2. The mixing or blending of different things, especially of races." The idea of the blending of races, as one meaning of the word, seems to have faded out of some dictionaries, probably in view of the fact that the term "hybridization" is now generally used to denote fusion, or crossing, of living things. However, the 1949 printing of Funk and Wagnalls New Standard Dictionary says, under "Amalgamate": "3. To form into a compound by mixing or blending; unite; combine; as to amalgamate diverse races. Used specifically, in the southern United States, of marriage between white and black persons."
A Dictionary of American English (Oxford University Press, 1938-1944, 4 vols.) says:
"Amalgamate, v. (1797-, in general sense.) Of persons: a. To combine or coalesce, esp. by intermarriage. /b. (See quot. 1859) ... 1859 BARTLETT 8 Amalgamate ... is universally applied, in the United States, to the mixing of the black and white races.
"Amalgamation. (1775- in general sense.) /The fusion of the white and black races by intermarriage."

[2] Some might contend that the construction of this sentence indicates that the writer is listing a new crime to the series, something in addition to the unholy marriages, idolatry, murder, etc. We do not believe that such a conclusion is required. It is no unusual thing for a writer to list a series of items, and then, in conclusion, focus upon one of them, with some such introductory phrase as, "If there is one item above another . . ." Nor do we believe that any special weight should be placed on the fact that in thus recapitulating, the writer amplifies on the particular point under discussion, as though the very focusing on it seems to draw the writer's mind to a related thought. This, we believe, is a wholly reasonable way to view the construction before us. Mrs. White returns, in the last paragraph of the chapter, to focus on the main cause of the Flood, as earlier set forth in the chapter. In so doing she expands a little to include the related "confusion" in the animal kingdom that had resulted from the entrance of sin into the world.

[3] In the middle of the nineteenth century, when some dark recesses of the earth had scarcely been touched by explorers, strange stories were often told as to the kind of savages who dwelt there. Probably some who first read Mrs. White's amalgamation statements unconsciously allowed these strange stories to determine their interpretation of the passages. Needless to say, now that all the savage races are fairly well known, the testimony of those who have come in contact with them is that though they may be depraved, they are exceedingly human in every respect, and need only the opportunity to acquire the white man's habits and vices! Mrs. White does not comment on the phrase, "certain races of men." She gives no details as to how the races intermingled after the Flood, nor does she say that such postdiluvian intermingling was a "base crime." We need only to note that she makes the simple statement that "amalgamation" produced "races of men," not races part man and part animal.

[4] A four-volume work by Mrs. White, published between 1870 and 1884, entitled Spirit of Prophecy, carries the secondary title: The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan, not to be confused with the later work Great Controversy, which is an expansion of the fourth volume. In the first volume the two amalgamation passages are reprinted in their original context.

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