Ellen G. White Writings

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Ellen G. White: The Early Years: 1827-1862 (vol. 1), Page 60

Chapter 4—(1844-1845) Make It Known to Others

Through the early-winter months of 1844-1845, the Advent believers in Portland, Maine—and, in fact, elsewhere—seldom smiled. On the streets they were taunted and ridiculed by former friends and acquaintances. They often had to meet the assertion “You were a set of fools and fanatics” or “I told you so.” The uniform testimony of those who passed through the experience was that only those who had endured it could realize the depth of disappointment and its reality.

During the last days of October and through November, many of the believers lived in constant expectancy. The Advent papers that survived carried word from the leaders in the movement confirming them in their confidence that prophecy had been fulfilled. Wrote William Miller in a letter dated November 18, 1844:

We have done our work in warning sinners, and in trying to awake a formal church. God in His providence has shut the door; we can only stir one another up to be patient, and be diligent to make our calling and election sure.—Letter published in Advent Herald, December 11, 1844.

They fully believed that probation had closed and Jesus would come at almost any moment. But as the days stretched into weeks and Jesus did not come, their faith began to waver. By December most of the believers in the Portland area had abandoned their confidence in the integrity of the October 22 date (A Word to the Little Flock, 22). Every passing day drove home the conviction that nothing had taken place at that time. James White reported in 1847:

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