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The Great Second Advent Movement: Its Rise and Progress

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    Chapter 1 — Introductory

    WHEN we speak of the second advent of Christ, we are touching a theme which in reality has been the hope of God’s people since the expulsion of our first parents from the garden of Eden. In the words to the serpent, that the seed of the woman should bruise his head, was an assurance that finally a restorer would come, who should defeat the usurpations of Satan, and accomplish God’s purpose in the earth. The supposition is that Adam and Eve thought this work would very soon be performed, and that an immediate descendant from them would be the victor. Yet in God’s plan the promise of the Saviour from the apparent ruin embraced all that has since been developed in the carrying out of his “own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” 12 Timothy 1:9GSAM 21.1

    Had Adam and Eve been given at once a view of the misery and woe which would fill the world during the long ages intervening between its ruin and its restoration, their grief would have been unbearable. The God of heaven, in his tender mercy and compassion, hid this view from them, leaving them to cherish the fond hope of soon being delivered into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Entertaining the thought that redemption was near would naturally incite them to greater earnestness in preparation to meet the event.GSAM 21.2

    In like manner has it been with the people of God in all the generations since the days of Adam. They were certain that a great and important event was sometime in the future to occur—that Christ would finally come and establish his kingdom. They too, like Adam and Eve, believed the event was near at hand, and, like them, were unconscious of what would transpire between their own time and the event; otherwise, they might have become discouraged in pressing toward the mark of the prize.GSAM 22.1

    This thought can be illustrated by the use of events that have occurred in the way of great discoveries. The men who originated them, although not aware of it, were actually fulfilling God’s purpose; yet were they animated with ideas that did not prove to be in all respects in harmony with their own theories which moved them to action.GSAM 22.2

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