Use of Italics

Dear Brother Pippenger,

In your talk, The Refreshing, you quote extensively from Review and Herald, April 27, 1911. I looked this article up and noticed extensive italicization. Since Sister White rarely used italics, I wondered if they were supplied by the author of this article, D.E. Robinson.

I do not have access to the Unpublished Manuscript, written in 1899, to which he refers, but I did look up Testimonies, volume1, 353-354, and there are no italics. Nor did she use italics in Testimonies, volume 8, 117; The Great Controversy, 604-605, 448-449; or Review and Herald, August 13, 1897, also quoted by Robinson. All italics in the Review and Herald, April 27, 1911, are supplied by Robinson.

I only mention it because you made a point of saying more than once that Ellen White used italics to emphasize certain points. She didn’t. She almost never placed forceful emphasis on her written words, relying herself on the Holy Spirit’s power to impress minds, and not on her own emphasis. Sincerely, KH.


Thank you for the clarification. The italics in Review and Herald, August 27, 1897 have always seemed significant to me, in the sense that they clearly emphasize when and where the mark of the beast and seal of God are placed in the prophetic sequence of events. Both, of course, take place at the Sunday law. I will cease to state, as I have done in the past, that Sister White italicized the parts in the passage, but would note that the italics only clarify what is stated. I would also add that Ellen White provided for members of her Estate to do minor editorial revision on her writings for the sake of clarity. DE Robinson was part of the EGW Estate and therefore was acting within the scope of authority set forth by the prophet herself.

“If the light of truth has been presented to you, revealing the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and showing that there is no foundation in the Word of God for Sunday observance, and yet you still cling to the false sabbath, refusing to keep holy the Sabbath which God calls ‘my holy day,’ you receive the mark of the beast. When does this take place? When you obey the decree that commands you to cease from labor on Sunday and worship God, while you know that there is not a word in the Bible showing Sunday to be other than a common working-day, you consent to receive the mark of the beast, and refuse the seal of God. If we receive this mark in our foreheads or in our hands, the judgments pronounced against the disobedient must fall upon us. But the seal of the living God is placed upon those who conscientiously keep the Sabbath of the Lord.” Review and Herald, April 27, 1911. (Emphasis in the original)

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