It would of interest to note that the Chapter 7 of the Patriarch and Prophets, “The Flood”, had been greatly influenced by Edward Griffin’s sermon on “Noah’s Ark”, in every detail. This calls into question Ellen White’s claim of divine inspiration as her description of the flood matches the description given by the earlier author, whose book was published fifty two years prior to Patriarchs and Prophets.
1. Employed his means to build the ark
Ellen White (1827-1915): “All that he possessed, he invested in the ark” (PP, p. 95, 1890).
Edward Griffin (1770-1837): “He possessed great wealth, or he could not have built such an immense ark. Before this command came, he was probably engaged in extensive business, and found his wealth flowing in from every quarter. But at the command of God he gave up all other employments, and consumed his wealth upon that immense building” (Sermons By The Late Rev. Edward Griffin, Vol. 2, p. 37, 1838).
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758): “… and doubtless Noah was very rich, as Abraham and Job were afterwards. But it is probable that Noah spent all his worldly substance in this work, thus manifesting his faith in the word of God, selling all he had…” (The Works of Jonathan Edwards, A.M.: With an Essay on His Genius and Writings, Volume 2, p. 52, 1839 [from his sermon 1740]).
2. The threatenings of God
Ellen White (1827-1915): “The threatenings of God,” they said, “are for the purpose of intimidating, and will never be verified. You need not be alarmed. Such an event as the destruction of the world by the God who made it, and the punishment of the beings He has created, will never take place. Be at peace; fear not. Noah is a wild fanatic” (PP, p. 96, 1890).
Edward Griffin (1770-1837): “O that they could as fully believe the threats and promises of God; … could trust in him with the promised salvation. Let them not doubt because the event foretold differ from their past experience, nor because they are a few years distant… This was the difference between them. He believed God’s threatenings and promises, and they believed not” (Sermons By The Late Rev. Edward Griffin, Vol. 2, pp. 35, 36, 1838).
3. Noah was ridiculed
Ellen White (1827-1915): “they pointed to him as a fanatic, as a ranting old man, full of superstition and madness” (ST, April 18, 1895). “While the people laughed and mocked and jeered, he kept steadily on with his work,… while outside the people laughed at the crazy old man who with his family had shut himself in an ark” (ST, April 10, 1901).
Edward Griffin (1770-1837): “How often was he called a madman and a fool! Those who passed by, would insultingly wag their heads. Others would curse him. The children would mock at him as he walked the streets… How often was he called a madman and a fool! Those who passed by, would insultingly wag their heads. Others would curse him. The children would mock at him as he walked the streets… How often would they load him with the titles of ‘false prophet’, ‘impostor’, and ‘liar’!” (Sermons By The Late Rev. Edward Griffin, Vol. 2, pp. 38, 39, 1838).
4. People came to see this strange construction
Ellen White (1827-1915): “Crowds of people came from all parts of the world to see the strange and wonderful structure, and heard the message of condemnation and the promise of deliverance” (ST, April 18, 1895). “As he began to construct that immense boat on dry ground, multitudes came from every direction to see the strange sight and to hear the earnest, fervent words of the singular preacher” (PP. p. 96, 1890). “Multitudes came from every direction to see this strange sight, and to hear the earnest, fervent words of this singular man” (ST, 1886, A Lesson From Noah’s Time).
Edward Griffin (1770-1837): “Such an unheard of enterprise as the construction of an enormous vessel to ride the waves—the construction of it in the midst of the dry land—under the idea that a flood was coming upon the world… The fame of his undertaking would travel to remote nations, and from all quarters derision and reproaches would come in” (Sermons By The Late Rev. Edward Griffin, Vol. 2, p. 38, 1838).
5. He stood alone
Ellen White (1827-1915): “He is singular indeed. He was one in the world, but not one of the world” (ST, December 20, 1877). “Noah was called to stand alone to warn the antediluvian world” (4SP, 214). “Noah was indeed singular. He was one in the world, but not one of the world” (ST, April, 1, 1886). “Noah was counted singular indeed and made himself an object of contempt and derision” (10MR, p. 371).
Edward Griffin (1770-1837): “Except for his father and grandfather and the rest of his own family, he stood alone against a frowning world…How hard then for the patriarch, who had all the sensibilities of a man, to encounter, single-handed, a contending and triumphant [ridiculing] world. He submitted to the scoffs of his acquaintances…” (Sermons By The Late Rev. Edward Griffin, Vol. 2, p. 37, 1838).
6. The storm breaks
Ellen White (1827-1915): “But upon the eighth day the heavens gathered blackness. The muttering thunders and vivid lightning flashes began to terrify man and beast. The rain descended from the clouds above them. This was something they had never witnessed, and their hearts began to faint with fear. The beasts were roving about in the wildest terror, and their discordant voices seemed to moan out their own destiny and the fate of man” (SR, p. 66, 1947).
Edward Griffin (1770-1837): “At length the long expected day arrived… The tremendous morning began to lour. The heavens gathered blackness. Angry tempests conflicted in the skies. The red lightnings curled over the world. Word was spread that Noah and his family had entered into the Ark. The world began to look serious” (Sermons By The Late Rev. Edward Griffin, Vol. 2, p. 40, 1838).
7. The plight of the wicked
Ellen White (1827-1915): “Many of the people, like Satan, blasphemed God… Some in their desperation endeavored to break into the ark, but the firm-made structure withstood their efforts. Some clung to the ark until they were borne away by the surging waters,…Some fastened themselves to lofty trees on the summit of hills or mountains; but the trees were uprooted, and with their burden of living beings were hurled into the seething billows. One spot after another that promised safety was abandoned. As the waters rose higher and higher, the people fled for refuge to the loftiest mountains. Often man and beast would struggle together for a foothold, until both were swept away. From the highest peaks men looked abroad upon a shoreless ocean” (PP. p. 100, 1890).
Ellen White (1827-1915): “Some shrieked to Noah, pleading for admission into the ark. But amid the furious blast of the tempest their voices were unheard. Some clung to the ark till they were washed away by the dashing waves. God had shut in those who believed His word, and no others could enter. Parents with their children sought the highest branches of the trees yet standing; but no sooner had they reached this refuge than the wind flung tree and people into the foaming, seething water. Terrified animals and terrified human beings climbed the highest mountains, only to be swept together into the angry flood. Where was now the ark and those at whom the people had jeered and mocked?—Preserved by the power of God, the immense boat was riding safely upon the waters, and Noah and his family were safe inside” (ST, April 10, 1901).
Edward Griffin (1770-1837): “Presently, floods of water poured from the sky. Some now began to turn their eyes towards the ark; others stand doubting. Others still dare to scoff. The waters go on to increase. The channels of the rivers are full and overflowing. The waters begin to rise in the streets. Some flee into their houses; others more intimidated, hasten to the hills; others are convinced, and with paleness of death are seen wandering towards the ark. The fountains of the great deep are now broken up. The waters rise more rapidly, and begin to rush with impetuous force. Thousands come wading, some swimming, some sinking, some hanging to the ark with the grasp of death; all screaming for admission… Those nearest the ark cry and plead for admission, but in vain. The waters roar; the ark is taken up; they sink and are seen no more. By this time every wretch on earth is convinced. Hear their cries from the tops of the houses, which are answered by lamentations from the hills. See the armies that are collected on the mountains. How like sheep they crowd together! Now the waters roaring and foaming, have reached their feet. They flee back to the highest ridge; the floods pursue them there. Some few climb the lofty oaks; the water overtakes them there. They flee to the highest branches, and for a while have time to reflect on their former madness. “How could I disbelieve the prophet of the lord? Where is now the ark which I scorned? Wither am I going? O eternity! Eternity! What a dreadful God have I despised!” On the topmost bough the impetuous torrent sweeps them. Their hold is broken, and they rise no more. The ark comes by. That blessed family are safe” (Sermons By The Late Rev. Edward Griffin, Vol. 2, pp. 40- 41, 1838).