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The Great Second Advent Movement: Its Rise and Progress - Contents
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    Apostolic and Advent Experience

    Apostles to Tarry and Learn

    Paul, in writing to the Hebrews 10:33-39 seems to present similarity of experience of the Apostolic church, and those who would proclaim the second coming of Christ. The Saviour said to His disciples that they must preach “in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” Luke 24:47. But He told them, “tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” Verse 49. There were things they must learn, after the Holy Ghost should be given, which they were not ready for, even when He notified them of it. John 16:12, 13. They must gain an experience that would free them from the traditions of the rabbis, and from Jewish national prejudice against Gentiles.GSAM 553.1

    They might be saying, “Did not Christ say to the woman of Samaria, ‘Salvation is of the Jews?’ ” John 4:22. Yes! But He did not say, “simply for the Jews.” Even the zealous pharisee Saul had to learn that the Saviour, by birth a Jew, was “made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” Galatians 4:4, 5. And the disciples must bear in mind that this we in Galatians included those who had been saved from idol worship. Galatians 4:8. Had the disciples grasped the full force of the Jewish Scriptures, they would have seen a Saviour for more than Jews. Had not the Lord said of the Saviour, by the mouth of the prophet Isaiah, “It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore the preserved of Israel; I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the ends of the earth.” Isaiah 49:6.GSAM 553.2

    But the apostles stayed in Jerusalem while gaining the knowledge to fit them for a world-wide work. At Pentecost 3,000 converted in a day. Acts 2:41. Then after the healing of the man born blind (which tradition said was to be a sign of the true Messiah), 5,000 believers were added. Acts 4:4. And when they began to establish order in the church, “a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.” Acts 6:7. It is supposed that by that time the Jerusalem church must have numbered about ten thousand. It seemed time that some should get out of Jerusalem, so near the end of the week of “confirming the covenant” with the Jews, Saul was in a rage of persecution against them. They of Jerusalem were “scattered abroad throughout the region of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.” Acts 8:1. However, it seems from an after statement that their preaching even then was “unto the Jews only.” Acts 11:19. But when the seventieth week was ended, some of their converts got to preaching to the Grecians. So great a number turned to the Lord, that some of the apostles had to go down to take hold of the work. Acts 11:20-22. So in the providence of God, when His time had come, their message started on its way to all nations.GSAM 553.3

    Adventists to Learn More Truth

    Some would think from the flippant talk of our “enemies” about the Advent experience in the fall of 1844, that if they had been there they would at once have known the real situation, and never for a moment have thought their work for the world done, even if most of those whom they met should say, “Why, I thought you had gone up!” or, “When are you going up?” They would not be like Brother Edson, who said to Crosier, “I cannot go home through town. I do not know what to say to the people. Let us go home across the cornfield.” Nor like Elder White, who said their thoughts were some like those of Mary, weeping at the sepulchre on the morning of the first day of the week, who said, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”GSAM 554.1

    We might imagine from the talk of our “enemies” that if they had been there, they might have said, “Let us start off on a mission to the cannibals, where they cook and eat up missionaries. How foolish to think, even for a few weeks, when outside parties will not listen to a word of explanation of matters, that our work for the world is done. Why wait after the book of time ‘sweet as honey’ has become ‘bitter’ in our stomachs, to be informed, ‘Thou must prophecy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.’ Why wait to be prepared for our work, to understand about the temple of God in heaven, and get the character measure of His people.” Such, however, was in direct harmony with the prophecies concerning the Movement.GSAM 555.1

    The Nature of Man

    As the apostolic church learned precious truths, and had experience for their world-wide work, so with the Adventists free from church creeds, they could now investigate and receive precious truths which the Lord had in store for them. Soon after the separation brought about under the second angel’s message, Geo. Storrs published in pamphlet form his Six Sermons on the Nature of Man, and Future Punishment, showing plainly from the Scriptures that there is no immortality out of Christ, that future punishment is not eternal misery, but the second death, and that all hope of future life is dependent on the resurrection of the dead. This light was to those who received it as an “oasis in a desert.” They said, “Why, what a glory this makes to cluster around the coming of Christ. His coming is in the fullest sense the consummation of our hopes.”GSAM 555.2

    I know I was joyous in the relief it gave me from the torture of mind I had for years in hearing “an endless hell” preached to me if I was not good. I wished many times they would tell me how to be good, instead of telling me so much about the terrors of hell. My aunt once commented to me, “Why, they say your uncle Norton believes the wicked will be burned up root and branch.” I told her, “It reads so in the book of Malachi.” She looked as astonished as though she had never heard of Malachi. My devoted grandfather heard my explanation. So when family worship came round, fearing, as I suppose, that I was going into infidelity, he prayed, “Lord, teach us each that we have a soul that must die, forever die, and never die.” To me it was like a conundrum that just then was going the rounds of the papers, “If an irresistible force is brought against an immovable body, what will be the result?”GSAM 555.3

    Geo. Storrs started a monthly journal, entitled, The Bible Examiner. On the other side the columns of the Advent Harbinger were opened as the church organ for those accepting the “Immortality Doctrine,” as it was then called. Those following in the wake of the Advent Herald of Boston, Mass., did not adopt this new light. So they quietly held the former view, and began to organize churches. They even sent a delegation to England to take part in a “World’s Alliance of Premillennial Adventists.” With this light on the nature of man, many who had been in the former movement embraced it, and so clung still to the hope of Christ’s near coming, through the proclamation of that doctrine. Those of the Harbinger movement did not, like the Seventh-day keepers, undertake an explanation of the past movement, so they did not encounter opposition of the kind which Seventh-day Adventists met.GSAM 556.1

    Church Order

    Let it be understood that those in the Harbinger movement, and the Seventh-day Adventists did not start in to organize churches. I was connected more or less with the believers of the Harbinger company from June 1848 to the fall of 1852. In that time I never heard them talk of church officers, or a list of members, or such a thing as a church clerk. But I did hear them say, “If a person’s name is on the Lamb’s book of life, that was all the record necessary.”GSAM 556.2

    The Lord’s message to nations, and tongues, and peoples, and kings could not go without order, any more than the movement of the apostles of Christ. But those who had felt the oppression of church creeds, feared that Babylon would result from any kind of church organization, so it required time and experience, as with the apostles, to develop this matter.GSAM 557.1

    With those who maintained their faith in the former movement, it required individual independence to stand amid all opposition which they had to meet. Independence was a good thing, but some of the independent ones received ideas which would not stand the rigid scoring of the Scriptures, and were not conducive to harmony in the third angel’s message. As “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, in all churches of His saints,” His message required a harmonizing of its elements before it could go on its errand to the world. As the persecution which arose about Stephen scattered the Jerusalem believers out where they could begin their work among the Gentiles, why should we think it strange that opposing elements should combine their forces, leave our ranks clear from their confused ideas, and place the workers in condition to give a straight message to the world, and that just then and there, a wonderful interest should be suddenly manifest among the people to hear the truth? So it was, as you will see, as we place the situation before you.GSAM 557.2

    As early as 1850 the Lord began to instruct this people in the testimonies of Sister White that a similar course should be pursued by us, as with the apostolic church: “Those going out to preach should be examined whether they were sound in the faith,” and that such “should receive commendation from the leading workers.” So matters went on until about 1853, when began the adoption of such a course. As a sample, I will copy the one I received: “This is to certify that Brother J. N. Loughborough of Rochester, N.Y., is one whom we commend to our people wherever he may labor.” Signed, “Joseph Bates, and James White, leading ministers.” And dated....GSAM 557.3

    The Beginning and End of an Independent Party

    This comparatively small matter set a ball rolling that opened the way for the rapid spread of the message. I was present with Brother and Sister White in June, 1853, when we held meetings in the home of Brother D. R. Palmer, in Jackson, Mich. In the prayer at the opening of the first meeting, Sister White was taken in vision. Those present saw her, examined her in the vision, and declared that “they never could doubt but the manifestation was accomplished by the mighty power of God.” After coming out of the vision Sister White had personal testimonies for some who were present, who confessed heartily their wrongs thus reproved, while some of their enemies were full of “amens,” at a supposed triumph they had gained over these persons. The ones thus shouting over the confessions were Hiram Case, and C. P. Russell, a sympathizer with him. Case was an S.D.A. minister, residing in Jackson, but was one who was rash and rough in his ways, and even in his course with the believers.GSAM 558.1

    The sister who was confessing, and whom he was triumphing over as she confessed, was one who was amiable, but one who by nature was quick spoken under trial. Now she was most earnestly seeking God’s grace for victory, and was encouraged by Sister White’s testimony that she would gain the victory. Her residence just then placed her in a most trying position. The house she lived in fronted on the street. Back of it, and in the same lot was a building for a family above and below, with an outside stairway to the second floor. Between the two houses were the posts for the clothes line of each family. The woman in the upper story would call this sister “an old Jew,” even to her face, and would annoy her in every way she could.GSAM 558.2

    One day this sister had got out her clothes to dry, when the seventeen year old daughter of Case visited her. As the clothes were nearly dry, while Case’s daughter sat in one room, the sister passed through the next room to the back door to see if the clothes were ready to bring in. Just then the woman from the upper story emptied a pan full of water down near the clothes in such a manner as to splash water and mud onto the dry clothes, an act which you can all see was well calculated to make a tired wash woman unhappy. So the sister spoke some sharp words. The daughter who was so sure she knew just what the sister said, when she heard through two doors, went home and reported to her father the awful words the sister had said of that woman. “Why just think, she called her an old bitch.”GSAM 559.1

    So we learned, after our morning meeting was over that Case had been most unmercifully trying to make the sister confess that she used that “awful word,” but the sister would stoutly deny that she ever used the word. Then he went after her more strongly still, for claiming that his daughter was a liar. The sister denied that she ever used that word, but he could not get her to tell what word she did use. But now, after the testimony was given, and she was confessing that she spake wrong words, Case and Russell were shouting their supposed triumph over the sister.GSAM 559.2

    In the evening of that day, as we were engaged in family worship at Brother Cyrenius Smith’s in West Jackson, Sister White was again in vision. As we gathered in meeting the next morning, Sister White had a testimony of reproof for the harsh, rough ways of Case. She told him he needed to humble himself, and get more of the spirit of the Lord, to be a successful laborer in the cause, and that his rough ways drove people away from the truth. In closing that testimony she said, “The Lord showed me last night that ‘the word’ you have made so much fuss about, as being uttered by the sister, she, as she claims, never uttered.”GSAM 559.3

    Then the sister arose and said, “What I did say against the woman, I ought not to have said. But I will tell you what I did say, when I saw water and mud splashed upon those clothes that I would have to wash over again. I said, ‘The old witch, her heart is so cold, butter will not melt on her tongue.’ “GSAM 560.1

    But up jumped Case, with Russell to back him up, pleading, “The sister’s testimony and the vision charge my daughter with being a liar.” Recollect that these two men are among those who, the day before, “would never doubt that the visions were from the Lord.” We have seen in Paul’s testimony how an important truth hung on the absence of a single letter, so in this case you see that this great condemnation not only hung on “a word,” but on the letter B. Then and there these men began to demand that the visions be gotten out of the way, and then the message would go to its “Loud Cry.”GSAM 560.2

    These parties soon combined with other disaffected ones, who contended for individual liberty, in opposition to cards of commendation. They bought an old second hand press and type, and started a paper with the title, The Messenger of Truth. When it got well underway it was a rallying nucleus for those independent ones. A testimony was given us to “let them alone. Do not pay any more attention to them than as though they were not in the world. Go on with your work. In less than six weeks they will be at war among themselves. Their paper will go down for lack of support, and when it stops, you will find that our ranks have doubled.” The paper perished in about two years, and the old press and type were laid up for rest. But there were more than twice as many Seventh-day Adventists at that time than when the opposition paper started.GSAM 560.3

    A Sudden Rise of Interest

    When those who with their peculiar ideas had separated from our ranks, and through their paper declared themselves separated, the world knew them to be none of us. What came then almost as surprising to us as a clap of thunder in a clear day was a sudden rise of interest with the public to hear preaching on the message. It happened on this wise. In May 1854 Elder White and wife, Elder M. E. Cornell, and myself, had an appointment to meet in the home of Brother Avery, of Locke, Michigan, with the few Sabbath keepers there. It was warm weather. They thought it would be more comfortable to have the meetings in the little school house near by, and so circulated the appointment for the meetings. What was our astonishment, at the very first meeting to see people assemble sufficient to fill three such school houses. We took out a window, put boards over two desks, and preached to the deeply interested crowd inside and outside the house.GSAM 560.4

    After this experience, as we were journeying on Monday in the carriage, from Locke to Sylvan, the query was up with us as to what this all meant. Brother White said, “There is surely a turn of affairs in this message. The public are coming to hear.” We noted a smile on Sister White’s countenance, but she said not a word. Brother White continued, “I think we will have to hold grove meetings to accommodate the people. But then we might have a grove all seated and rain come on, and break it all up. I think by next year we will be holding tent meetings.” We noted still a smile on Sister White’s countenance, especially when Brother Cornell said, “I think we can hold tent meetings this year.” Brother White replied, “We have not the money to get a tent.” “Well,” said Brother Cornell, “I think there is a 50 ft. tent that the First-day Adventists laid up. They could not hold meetings because of the rowdies. I think I can get that. As for money, there is Brother Glover, J. P. Kellogg, Dan Palmer and Cyrenius Smith, who I am sure would help in this matter. If the Adventist tent is sold, I can go on to Rochester, N.Y., and get a tent from H. C. Williams.” Brother White then said, “We will tell Brother Glover our experience at Locke and not ask him for money, but see how it strikes him, and just so with the others, and take that as evidence whether we shall get a tent.”GSAM 561.1

    While dinner was being prepared for us, Brother White talked to Brother Glover about the interest at Locke, and what might be done if we had a tent. Brother Glover asked to be excused for a few minutes, then came in, handed Brother White $35.00, and said, “That is what I think of it. Go ahead.” We drove on to East Jackson, called on Brother Kellogg, and reported the same to him. He handed Brother White $35.00 and said, “You see Dan Palmer, and Cyrenius Smith, and I think they will do as Brother Glover and I have done. But how much do you think it will cost to get a tent all ready for meetings?” Brother White said, “I think about $200.00.” “Well,” said Brother Kellogg, “I will tell you something, but you keep this to yourself for the present. You get from Brother Palmer and Smith what you can, and I will furnish the rest of the $200.00 until you can collect from the brethren, and here is my two horse lumber wagon and horses you can have for the summer to haul the tent around. And here is Albert, my youngest son, take him along for your tent master.”GSAM 562.1

    Well, Brother Palmer and Smith each heard of the situation. As far as permissible, each furnished $35.00, and we went to the grove to pray over the matter. Oh how the blessing of the Lord came upon us as we asked it of Him on the undertaking. Suffice it to say, the next day at twelve o’clock, M. E. Cornell was on the train with the money in his pocket, bound for Rochester to buy a tent. That night at eight o’clock Brother and Sister White met the rail road disaster, three miles west of Jackson, as they were starting to fill their appointment in Wisconsin. Of this you can read in my book, pages 328-330. A sixty foot circular tent was purchased from E. C. Williams, at the cost of the material, and was erected first in Battle Creek, Mich., on a then vacant lot just opposite where now stands the Nichols Hospital. There was more than a tent full at the very first meeting, as the writer gave the first discourse on Daniel 2. From that sudden turn of affairs, the message, like the carrying out of the apostolic commission, has been making its way to the nations, tongues, and people of the earth.GSAM 562.2

    “Rebellion Dies Hard”

    The reader may be anxious to know how that second hand press and the independents got along after their paper stopped. “Well,” Brother White said, “rebellion dies hard.” In March 1858 Brother and Sister White and I held some meetings in Otsego, Mich. At our first meeting we were introduced to a minister from the Christian church (not Disciple) who had embraced the truth by reading. He heard of these meetings, and had come to attend. He was an entire stranger to all present. His name was Cranmer. In the praying season, at the opening of the meeting, Sister White was taken off in vision. The brother expressed himself as “completely satisfied that the manifestation was of the Lord.”GSAM 563.1

    As Sister White related some things she had seen in the vision, she said to the brother, “I have never seen you personally until today, but in this vision the Lord has shown me some things that I should say to you. You have ability to teach the truth, but there are victories which it is your privilege to gain, and which you should gain before you go out to teach the truth; and which if you gain will be evidence to you that the Lord will be with you in your work. You fear your family. You do not read your Bible and have worship with your family. You are afraid of them, and do all your praying in your barn. Get that victory by establishing family worship with your family. That will be evidence to you of greater victories which you may gain.GSAM 563.2

    “You condemn the use of tobacco in words, yet continue to use it yourself. In the strength of God you can gain the victory over that habit. When you have gained these victories, it will be evidence to you that the Lord will go with you in your efforts to preach the message.” He arose and confessed that what she had spoken was the truth, and that he was going home to do his duty in his family, and gain the victory over tobacco smoking.GSAM 564.1

    About six weeks after this, as Brother White and I were going into the Wednesday evening prayer meeting in Battle Creek, we saw Brother Cranmer coming into the meeting. After the meeting he said to Brother White that he had come to get from him and myself a recommendation card, so that he could go out preaching the message. Brother White said to him, “You know the testimony to you that, when you get those two victories it would be evidence to you as to when you should go out and give the message.” He replied, “Yes.” “Well,” said Brother White, “have you gained those victories?” “No, I have not, but when I get the commission card, I am going home to gain those victories.” Brother White replied, “When you come to us, and tell us that you have gained those victories, there will be no trouble about the card of commendation.” The brother went home rather crestfallen.GSAM 564.2

    The next we knew of the man was a few weeks after. We received a paper called The Hope of Israel published by Cranmer on the old second hand press and type, brought to his home near Kalamazoo, Mich. We found his Hope of Israel was the same as that of Joseph Marsh noted in this article. But the real gist of his paper was revival of the old Messenger warfare against Brother and Sister White and the visions. One of his first charges was that Brother White and Brother Loughborough would not give him a commendation card, because he did not believe the visions. He rallied some of the old time independents, many of whom had disappeared during the time that the old hand press and type had been resting. He pushed on his warfare until he spent his means and his little farm. In his company they not only had a tobacco smoking leader, but a number of brother and sister smokers. His paper had a comparatively short existence and the press and type had another rest. But soon he also closed his earthly pilgrimage. One of his old neighbors told me after his demise that he “literally smoked himself to death, became as senseless as a little child, demented.”GSAM 564.3

    A Third Opposition Paper

    So matters rested again with that press, until 1865, when what has been known as “The Snook and Brinkerhoff of Rebellion” started. In a meeting on these matters held at Pilot Grove, Iowa, in the spring of 1865, I was by vote of our people assembled, chosen as chairman. An all day meeting was held to investigate the charges made by these men. These were answered by either Brother or Sister White. The interview closed with each of the men testifying that “their objections were satisfactorily answered,” and each of them gave to Brother White written confessions, which have since been published.GSAM 565.1

    From these confessions in a few weeks they both backslid. The old hand press and type was brought from Michigan to Marion, Iowa, and by the aid of a few of the remaining “independents,” and even a few new recruits, they started a third opposition paper called The Advent and Sabbath Advocate. They went on furiously attempting to defeat Brother and Sister White, and the Seventh-day Adventists, but especially the visions of Sister White. But in a short time their leaders left their ranks and gave up the Sabbath and third angel’s message. Snook was engaged in preaching universalism at a salary of $1,000 a year, and others now came in to fill the gap. On they have gone for about half a century, changing their faith, and the name of their paper to correspond.GSAM 565.2

    In 1908 I saw a copy of their paper, and took a note of their publication column, to see what progress they were making to give the message “With a Loud Voice” to all the world. I found not a bound book in all the list of advertised publications, not a book in any language but English, one primer poem, a primer hymn book, a few tracts, some of them a reprint of our tracts. I figured up the column. You could get a copy of all they offered for $2.48. I thought, “Is this the progress of their message since 1854, when these people boasted that they were going to get rid of Sister White and the visions, and then they would go out and give the message to all the world?”GSAM 566.1

    Now, in 1918, I look at the list of what is going on by the Seventh-day Adventists. We have forty publishing houses in various parts of the world, printing in ninety-four different languages, printing one hundred and thirty-four periodicals, five hundred and sixty-two books, three hundred and sixty-four pamphlets, and one thousand six hundred and forty-nine tracts. To obtain one copy of each of these productions, the price would be seven hundred and four dollars and fifty cents.GSAM 566.2

    The last government census of “The Church of God” (the name this opposition party call themselves) was, as I saw it about 1909, “611; loss the previous year, 36.” The last official list of the Seventh-day Adventists, Dec. 31, 1917, was 153,857.GSAM 566.3

    In one of my meetings in Iowa, in 1903, one of these “Church of God” members was present. As I spake of the travels of the second hand press and type, she spoke up in a strong voice, “Brother Loughborough, we have a new press now.” I thought, “Wonderful progress you have made, a new press in over half a century?” If their work was what they claimed it to be when they started, why has it not made some progress in the world? It seems to me, “success” should be credited to the successful, especially in a righteous cause.GSAM 566.4

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