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The Great Second Advent Movement: Its Rise and Progress

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    Biographical Sketch

    John Norton Loughborough was an eyewitness to the founding of the Seventh-day Adventist church. A brief overview in his own words of his life and ministry (extracted from the Appendix A) will give a background to this new edition of his book.GSAM 5.1

    I was born in Victor, Ontario County, N.Y., on Jan. 26, 1832. This village of 200 or more inhabitants was surrounded by a well settled farming community for miles. It was on the old mail stage line from Albany to Buffalo. This village was where I attended Sunday school and public service until the spring of 1848, when the city of Rochester, N.Y. became my headquarters. Both my father and grandfather were local ministers in the Methodist church, but supported themselves....GSAM 5.2

    ... In the last week in December 1843, I heard my first discourse on Advent preaching. It was from Brother James Barry, on the topic, “The Hour of His Judgment is Come.” The mighty power of God set home the truth he proclaimed. It seemed as though we were standing before the judgment bar of God. Under the exhortation that followed from the pastor, I with many others pressed my way to the front to be prayed for. And there began my first effort to pray and seek God....GSAM 5.3

    In the winter of 1852, before I had begun to preach the third angel’s message, when I was studying whether I should preach the message, or sustain myself and wife by hand labor, a vision was given to Sister White in our meeting in Rochester one Sabbath, and a direct testimony was given for me to hesitate no longer, but to go out and preach the message, and the Lord would open the way for me to be sustained....GSAM 5.4

    When I had got fairly into the work, in those early times, there was manifest what then was a mystery to me. It was this—in every important meeting in different states that Brother and Sister White attended, they would call upon me to go with them. I would say to myself, “Why do they not ask these ministers instead of me all the time?”GSAM 6.1

    Then again, when those three rebellions came on from 1853 to 1865, when they started three different papers, one for each of those tirades, why was it that I was present, and saw each of the rebellions start? Then again, why was it that I was present to see Sister White in her open visions over forty different times, see her examined by the physicians, hear her make predictions of what was to take place—things that seemed incredible to those hearing the predictions, and yet literally fulfilled? I say in all candor, these opportunities were not occasions of exaltation to me, but a mystery. I would say to myself, “Why is all this so?”GSAM 6.2

    ... In 1890, I was requested by the General Conference to labor east of the Rocky Mountains. Then came this testimony, written to Elder O. A. Olsen, of which a copy was also sent to me: “I say let Elder Loughborough do a work that is suffering to be done in the churches. The Lord would have his voice heard as was John’s, telling the things which he himself has experienced in the rise and progress of the third angel’s message. Let Elder Loughborough stand in his right place, as a Caleb coming to the front, and bearing a decided testimony, in face of unbelief, and doubt and skepticism, ‘we be well able to go up and possess the goodly land.’ Do not fasten Elder Loughborough in a corner anywhere. Do not bind him to any one conference. Let him go here and there, and everywhere, telling what he has seen, and known and handled in the rise of the third angel’s message.GSAM 6.3

    (See Appendix B for key dates in Loughborough’s life.)GSAM 6.4

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