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The Great Second Advent Movement: Its Rise and Progress

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    The Removal to Washington

    In 1893, Mrs. White said: “Too many interests are now being piled up in Battle Creek. Were those interests divided and located in other cities, where the light and knowledge might bless other localities, it would be in God’s order. The Lord does not want a second Jerusalem in Battle Creek. There will have to be strong reformations and transferring of facilities and institutions if the will of God is done.”GSAM 458.2

    At the General Conference in Oakland, Cal., in March, 1903, she said: “For years the warning has been given to our people, Get out of Battle Creek. But because of the many interests established there, it was convenient to remain, and men could not see why they should move.”GSAM 458.3

    “In reply to the question that has been asked in regard to settling somewhere else, I answer, Yes. Let the General Conference offices and the publishing work be removed from Battle Creek. I know not where the place will be, whether on the Atlantic Coast or elsewhere. But this I will say, Never lay a stone or a brick in Battle Creek to rebuild the Review office there. God has a better place for it.”GSAM 458.4

    After hearing this instruction, the conference of believers voted “that the General Conference offices be removed from Battle Creek, Mich., to some place on the Atlantic Coast.”GSAM 458.5

    In the General Conference council held in Battle Creek, following the session of the General Conference, it was voted “that we favor locating the headquarters of the General Conference office in the vicinity of New York City.” A large committee was accordingly selected to search for a feasible location. The committee communicated their plan to Mrs. White, and asked if she had further light for them. In reply she said:—GSAM 459.1

    “May the Lord help us to move understandingly and prayerfully. I am sure that he is willing that we should know, and that right early, where we should locate our publishing house. I am satisfied that our only safe course is to be ready to move just when the cloud moves. Let us pray that he will direct us. He has signified by his providence that he would have us leave Battle Creek....GSAM 459.2

    “New York needs to be worked, but whether our publishing house should be established there I cannot say. I should not regard the light I have received as definite enough to favor the movement.”GSAM 459.3

    After spending nearly two weeks hunting about New York City and surrounding towns, the committee failed to find a suitable place for the publishing house. At this point a letter came, dated May 30, in which Mrs. White said:—GSAM 459.4

    “As our brethren search for a location for the Review and Herald publishing house, they are earnestly to seek the Lord. They are to move with great caution, watchfulness, and prayer, and with a constant sense of their own weakness. We must not depend upon human judgment. We must seek for the wisdom that God gives....GSAM 459.5

    “In regard to establishing the institution in New York, I must say, Be guarded. I am not in favor of its being near New York. I cannot now give all my reasons, but I am sure that any place within thirty miles of that city would be too near. Study the surroundings of other places. I am sure that the advantages of Washington, D.C., should be closely investigated.GSAM 459.6

    “We should not establish this institution in a city nor in the suburbs of a city. It should be established in a rural district, where it can be surrounded by land.”GSAM 460.1

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