Ellen G. White Writings

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The Gathering of Israel, Page 9

Marsh taught the principal Literalist doctrines of the millennium: probation continuing for mortals left on earth; believing descendants of Israel in a special position in a Davidic kingdom; Ezekiel’s temple and commemorative sacrifices; “Old Jerusalem” rebuilt, cleansed, and glorified as the capital of the millennial empire (not the New Jerusalem and the new earth). 12Ibid.; also Marsh’s editorials in the Advent Harbinger, n.s. 1:284, Feb. 23, 1850; ibid., pp308. 308, 324, 325, March 16 and 30, 1850; also n.s. 2:244, 245, Jan. 18, 1851; n.s. 3:52, 53, Aug. 2, 1851. However, neither he nor his associate Crozier (as the name was spelled by this time) held a pre-Advent return of literal Jews to Palestine, as held by Grew and Cook. 13Marsh, The Age to Come, pp. 106-109; Crozier, in Advent Harbinger, n.s. 4:45, July 24, 1852; Grew, ibid., n.s. 2:107, Sept. 21, 1850, and n.s. 2:388, May 24, 1851; Cook, ibid., n.s. 3:29, July 12, 1851.

Marsh reprinted in the Advent Harbinger selections from Literalist works. He opened his columns to Storrs, who promoted therein a book on British Israelism, teaching the inheritance of Palestine by the supposed British descendants of the ten tribes along with a Jewish Judah. 14Marsh, Advent Harbinger, n.s. 2:12. June 29, 1850. Extracts were printed in the Harbinger from this book (Our Israelitish Origin, by an Englishman, John Wilson), for example on p. 21, July 6, 1850. But that doctrine does not appear to have been a major issue in the age-to-come controversy.

Prominent among the statements cited as errors in the Boston conference “address” of 1850 were the following from Marsh’s age-to-come editorials, mostly on the restored Jerusalem and forgiveness after the Advent:

Jerusalem will be rescued from the gentiles, and fitted for the place of the throne of his glory. 15Ibid., n.s. 1:284, Feb. 23, 1850.

Numerous prophecies as clearly and positively predict the building up again of Jerusalem as they do of its fall. And as they make Jerusalem rebuilt, the glorious city of the Lord during his millennial reign, it is evident that the new Jerusalem, which is not to be re-built, cannot be that city ....

It [Isaiah 54] does not speak of the new Jerusalem which is to be located on the new earth, but of literal Jerusalem in its redeemed, cleansed, beautified, and glorified state, in the Age to come, under the millennial reign of Christ ....

After the close of this gospel age, Christ would “return” and build again the tabernacle of David, which was thrown down .... This cannot be the new Jerusalem or “tabernacle of God,” (Revelation 21:3) for it was never thrown down ....

We are forced to the conclusion that there are three Jerusalems named in the Bible.

1. Jerusalem, that is trodden down, and now in bondage.

2. Jerusalem, redeemed, rebuilt, ... the beloved city during his millennial reign on the earth. And

3. The new Jerusalem which will come down from God out of heaven, after the close of the thousand years reign of Christ. 16Ibid., pp. 324. 324, 325, March 30, 1850.

This prophecy [Isaiah 66:15-24] first clearly predicts the coming of the Lord; then informs us that “the slain of the Lord shall be many” in that day, but gives us to understand that “some will escape” that destruction, who, we think, will not then be changed to immortality, but will be sent to declare the fame and glory of the Lord unto the Gentiles, and the isles which have not heard his fame nor seen his glory ....

The remnants of the nations that will escape the great destruction, at or near the time of the coming of the Lord, will be favored with the gracious privilege of submitting to his universal law; but in case of noncompliance with his offer of mercy, instead of expostulation and entreaty being made to the offenders, as in this probationary age, judgments will be speedily executed. 17Ibid., p. 372. 372, May 11, 1850.

In various editorials and articles in the Harbinger in 1850 and 1851, the phrases “Jerusalem rebuilt” or “built up” and “build up the tabernacle of David” occur repeatedly in connection with the millennial kingdom. 18For example, Jerusalem rebuilt: Advent Harbinger, n.s. 1:306, 324, 325, 349; n.s. 2:116, 117, 306, 332, 406; n.s. 3:84, 93. For “the tabernacle of David” rebuilt: ibid. n.s. 1:300, 324, 329, 337, 373; n.s. 2:68, 212, 406; n.s. 3:45, 52-53, 69, 101. In reply to the Literalist application, Himes cites the inspired commentary on Amos in Acts 15, applying it to the conversion of the Gentiles (Advent Herald, n.s. 5:61, March 23, 1850).

Chapter 11—The Adventist Reply

How did Himes and the majority group reply to the age-to-come doctrine? They contended that there was no prophecy that must yet be fulfilled in a future age before the end of probation, and that the promises made to Israel were being misinterpreted. Against the new “Judaism” the writers in the Advent Herald repeat the same Scriptural arguments as had been employed in the Miller period, and the same as those used later by the early Seventh-day Adventist pioneers. Some of these, when used today, have been regarded as new by those who do not know what the early Adventists—and the early Seventh-day Adventists—said on this subject.

The principal points made by various writers may be itemized thus: 1For summaries of the principal points here itemized, see [Himes], Editorial, Advent Herald, n.s. 5:44, March 9, 1850 (also ibid., 13:97, May 1, 1847); “Address” adopted at the 1850 Boston conference, ibid., n.s. 5:150, June 8, 1850. For Seventh-day Adventist discussions of the subject covering these same points, see J. H. Waggoner, The Kingdom of God (1859; based on articles appearing in the Review and Herald in 1856); Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, 292-298, 703-714, 720; Christ’s Object Lessons, 284-296; Evangelism, 695 (see further Ellen G. White references in the two works cited next); for recent treatment of the subject, The Role of Israel in Old Testament Prophecy,”The S.D.A. Bible Commentary 4:25-38; “Israel, Prophecies Concerning,” Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, pp. 683-686.

1. The kingdom promises to ancient Israel were conditional.

Many of them are made to them [the Jews] conditionally, and the conditions not having been complied with, the promises are not now good to them ....

Here [in Jeremiah 18:7-10] we have the unvarying conditions on which are given all national promises. 2[Himes], Editorial, Advent Herald, n.s. 5:44, 60, March 9 and 23, 1850. On this and on the next item (2) see also O. R. Fassett, in Advent Herald, n.s. 5:108, May 4, 1850, and n.s. 9:30, Jan. 24, 1852; opponent cited in Advent Harbinger, n.s. 1:388, May 25, 1850; “Address” adopted at Boston conference, Advent Herald, n.s. 5:150, June 8, 1850. This had long been Adventist doctrine; see reprint from Signs of the Times, 1842, in The Review and Herald, May 9, 1854, p. 5; Litch, Prophetic Expositions, vol. 1, p. 57; [Bliss?], in Advent Shield, 1:430-432, April, 1845; [Himes], Editorials, in Advent Herald, 13:97, May 1, 1847; n.s. 2:180-181, Jan 6, 1849.

2. These promises were forfeited through failure to meet the terms.

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