Doctor E. J. Waggoner By: Ellis P. Howard
Son-in-law of Dr. E. J. Waggoner
Some questions answered.
He never apostatized.
Dropped from church. Why? His contact pantheism.
Secrets revealed for the first time. You decide.
A. T. Jones, his closing days. He never apostatized.
I am Ellis P. Howard, 86, son-in-law of Dr. E. J. Waggoner. I am writing this and I speak with considerable authority. So listen, please, for there have been so many false accusations.
He was called doctor because he was a medical doctor. He graduated as a surgeon from New York City Medical School. He practiced some, but his heart was in the ministry. One day at one of our California Camp meetings (READ HEALDSBURG), God revealed his son, Jesus, to him as it were a television scene. He saw Jesus dying on the cross, an atonement, complete, for the human race. That picture never faded. It is the golden thread seen through all his writing. More later.
Pearl, my wife, Dr. Waggoner's younger daughter, attended Washington Missionary College the winter of 1915-1916. We were under appointment to the mission field, by the General Conference. We were married at the close of the school term.
Pearl wanted to visit her father before going to Peru. So by train we went to Battle Creek, Michigan. Dr. Waggoner was serving as registrar in the large Battle Creek Sanitarium. He also served as Chaplain a great deal of the time. Pearl and I were most welcome in the Waggoner home. The doctor was married again, but Pearl knew his wife as she had worked in the publishing house when they lived in London and the Doctor was editor.
Our visit with Pearl's father was shortened by his sudden death, heart failure. He had had warning so submitted to a physical examination that very day by one of the best heart specialists in the world. He (WAGGONER) was preparing a funeral sermon for a young person, for the next day. Then we ate a light supper and went to bed a little later. Just as he lay down his heart fluttered until it stopped. Edith called me to come quickly, but he was already gone. He was a great student. In London he had bought cheaply a great number of second hand books. I believe he had all of the "Fathers of the Catholic Church," and hundreds of histories. It took a joining house, with shelves to the ceiling to hold all his books. The above is just a little side light.
Now let us go to the large parlor of the Battle Creek Sanitarium. For several weeks, in May of 1916, Dr. Waggoner had been holding studies on Righteousness by Faith. One morning I stepped in to listen. What wonderful truth from the lips of a wonderful preacher. Right up to the day of his funeral his favorite Bible theme was "Christ and His Righteousness."
All through his several books it is the theme of "Christ and His Righteousness." Pearl and I have loaned to Elder L. E. Froom, permanently several of Dr. Waggoner's books. They were to be passed on by him finally to the James White Library. Elder Froom has some important secret letters in his files. Dr. J. H. Kellogg was a close family friend. He became mixed up in Pantheism. He tried to persuade Dr. Waggoner. The Lord warned the Doctor through Sister White. He heeded the warning. I will tell you about it and about a personal letter in the files of L. E. Froom.
Now Dr. Waggoner wrote a letter to Dr. Kellogg, trying to persuade him against Pantheism, but Dr. Kellogg would not listen. It is this letter that Elder Froom has.
Now a small writing of several pages, savoring of a tinge of Pantheism, was on the writing desk at Dr. Waggoner's when Pearl and I arrived from Washington D.C. for our visit. On the back of this pad was written, "not for print." Yet months later it was printed locally. Dr. E. J. Waggoner's name was typewritten to end it. Now listen. I have good reason to believe that Edith wrote it and not the doctor.
Why, partly? Dr. Waggoner was a very strong believer in the atonement through Christ on the cross. It permeates all his books except "Fathers of the Catholic Church" which consists mainly of quotations from "Church Fathers.” A person who accepts the atonement through Christ cannot be a Pantheist. See Ministry of Healing 313, Chapter "A true Knowledge of God." 328
Dr. E. J. Waggoner could not have been dropped from the church for apostasy because he never left the truth. He taught the truth to the day of his death.
Let us look briefly at his marriage. It was his wife, Jessie, who obtained the divorce right here in the states while he was on a trip to London. Now I am going to reveal a family secret - I am the only person still living at 86 who can reveal this secret. I do it only to clear Dr. E. J. Waggoner’s name, as I hope. One day many years back Pearl, my wonderful wife, received a letter from her mother which made her very sad. Her mother had become engaged to a young Englishman from London. At this same time she applied for a divorce in California. Now this divorce was granted. And thus Jessie F. Moser Waggoner became a divorcee with the full intention of marrying this young Englishman. But something happened and she never did marry this young man. I had met him but Pearl and I opposed the move, very strongly.
At this very time Dr. E. J. Waggoner was in London. Of course he knew about it and had it been left to him there would never have been a divorce. Yet Doctor Waggoner was blamed for the divorce, and also because he remarried. It was only well after the divorce that he remarried. And before he remarried he consulted with several of his very best friends, ministers, editors etc., both in England and the U.S.A. And his two very best friends here in the U.S.A. were Elders W. A. Spicer and M. C. Wilcox, editor of the Review and Herald. Elder Spicer told me he had learned more Dr. E. J. Waggoner than from anyone living on this earth. I knew and loved the Spicer’s, all the family except I only knew of a son. The same with M. C. Wilcox and brother. Wonderful men and wonderful S.D.A.'s and they were loyal, completely, to Dr. Waggoner. During the years of great trial for Dr. Waggoner these men stood by him.
Doctor Waggoner never criticized or showed any anger. He never opposed the truth, but always taught it. Pearl, my wife, says he was the finest Christian who lived. He never criticized the General Conference. He was happy that Pear and l had been called to the mission field by the General Conference. He prayed for our success and for the Lord's work. I fully expect to 'see Dr. E. J. Waggoner and A. T. Jones in the kingdom. God will take care of the past, the present and the future.
Now a word about Jessie F. Moser Waggoner. She was sorry for some things she did, but she could not undo what she had done. She dropped Waggoner from her name. Dr. E. J. Waggoner was dropped from the church but Jessie F. Moser was not dropped. Now all this took place during a time of physical weakness in her life. Now there is never an excuse for sin, but God knows all the circumstances and He loves to receive the one who has made a mistake.
From "Selected Messages," No.1, page 368, we read, "Christ looks at the spirit, and when He sees us carrying our burden with faith, His perfect holiness atones for our shortcomings. When we do our best, He becomes our righteousness.” This is only one of dozens of similar quotations.
Jessie F. Moser, Pennsylvania Dutch, was very, very bright, and a thorough going Christian S.D.A. She settled down in Glendale, California. Her elder daughter, Bessie I. Harrower, who was considered wealthy, provided her with a nice home on East Broadway across from the Harrower Laboratory. She became a member of the large Glendale Church. They constantly called upon her brilliant mind and talent to help out in the Sabbath School Department. She died in Glendale at the age of 84, heart failure, while sitting in an old fashioned rocker. She was not sick, same as Dr. E. Waggoner. I expect to meet her in the kingdom and also Dr. E. J. Waggoner.
A. T. Jones
While Pearl and I were in Battle Creek for a short time in 1916, part of May, June and July, A. T. Jones was in Kalamazoo, Michigan, holding an old fashioned S.D.A. public effort, and what did he preach? It was plain Seventh-day Adventist teaching. Jones was famous for his maps, and knowledge of history. He had been dropped from the church. I ask why? Please don't even try to answer. Leave it in the hands of God. A. T. was an old family friend. Pearl, when little, used to sit on his lap and listen to Bible stories. She loved Elder Jones and so did I. I expect to meet A. T. Jones in Kingdom so soon to come.
I feel like writing much more. However, I have given enough for you to understand the reasons for some things. And how wonderful is our Heavenly Father and the wonderful message He has committed to us, the Remnant Church.
Ellis P. Howard
P.S. May 1, 1972 Ellis P. Howard
I have still some for the future if acceptable.
How I spend my sustentation years. Because of bad amoebic dysentery and ten years of malaria I was limited in my capacity to do things. Yet I won many to the truth, -one university graduate couple and five children, very bitter against the truth. And several more. An angel presence, beautiful light floods my spirit of prophecy books by my side one night. It must have been an angel which one day, I was about to have a real terrible collision. I must have been as close as an inch from the next auto ahead of me, and going at 20 miles per hour, and it must have been an angel who literally picked up my car and set it down in the next lane. Wonderful. But there is another similar.
My deepest and most interesting and absorbing spiritual thought for study has been "God's Love for a Lost Race." I divide this in about five thoughts not studies. They would consist of Bible texts, and spirit of prophecy quotations
Dr. J. H. Kellogg
I have felt so sorry through the years that Dr. Kellogg accepted Pantheism. I am sure the brethren tried to show him how wrong is pantheism. It is a very subtle form of pantheism. It is all through India. The giant banyan tree, hundreds, of years old, having withstood winds of one hundred miles an hour. It is beautiful and its shade is very welcome to scores of animals or man. The very long limbs have roots that drop down to the ground and support the limbs. Anyone can admire it. Certainly the unseen power of God manifest in this beautiful tree. But hidden in the admiration of God's beautiful creation there is danger lest we worship the tree and not creator.
Here are the beautiful flowers and God's power is manifest, but we must not worship the flower. To make out that nature is God is pantheism. It can be a very subtle and deceptive form of spiritualism. See Ministry of Healing, pages 413, 428.
Dr. Kellogg removed a large internal tumor from my grandmother, free, in 1894.
P.S. A. T. Jones
An important secret I forgot.
How could Elder Jones devote his time to soul winning without an income? Here is the answer kept secret through the years.
One day in the wide hallway of the Battle Creek Sanitarium on the first floor one of the head lady doctors stopped me. She said, Brother Howard, do you know how Elder Jones manages to live and pay for his tent effort? She said I will tell you now. She seemed to be the one responsible.
Answer -The doctors of the Battle Creek Sanitarium are supporting Elder Jones and paying all his expenses.
Now these doctors were good Seventh-day Adventists, members of the Battle Creek Church. They certainly would not support a movement of apostasy. I repeat that A. T. Jones never left the truth. He disagreed (with) one name of the ten kings is all. The Lord will never excuse known sin. It will be wonderful to meet Jones in the kingdom.
A Letter of Clarification - Unanswered