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The Great Second Advent Movement: Its Rise and Progress

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    Church Feasting

    While they were doing this there began what was before unknown in Protestant churches—the calling of the people together in the church for feasting and “making of sport.” All who would come were invited to partake with them of their dainties.GSAM 151.2

    The first we ever heard of anything of this kind in America was in the month of May, 1844, just after the disappointment. It was on this wise: While William Miller, in a hall in Rochester, N.Y., was instructing and exhorting several hundred Adventists, telling them, “We are in the tarrying time of Matthew twenty-five; hold fast your faith; we shall soon have more light on this matter,” there was appointed in the basement of one of the largest meeting-houses in Rochester, “a festival.” A crowd of people came together, both church members and unbelievers, and while the president of a theological college made fun for the crowd by ridiculing William Miller, they sold to them oysters, ice-cream, sweetmeats, and for twenty-five cents a small pamphlet which this man had prepared. The book was called An Expose of Millerism.GSAM 151.3

    In less than a fortnight from that time another denomination in the same city appointed “a festival” in a public hall, charging twenty-five cents admission, and inviting all who would to come and partake with them of their oysters, ice-cream, cake, and sweets. Then and there began this modern feasting in churches, which has developed into “crazy socials,” “grab bags,” “fish ponds,“ “kissing bees,” and so on. This feature of feasting in churches has grown to that extent that now a modern church building is not up to the standard unless it has its kitchen, pantry, and dining-room. This state of things is that which began in the “tarrying time,” just as designated in the parable.GSAM 151.4

    Wm. Miller himself speaks of the incident that occurred in Rochester in the following words: “One of the D.D.’s in Rochester, Mr.LLL, of the LLL church, wrote a pamphlet against Millerism, called his lords and ladies into the house of the Lord, made a great feast of oysters and other ‘picnics,’ Belshazzar-like, drank their coffee and tea, ate their costly delicacies and sold their ice-cream and sweetmeats, and his pamphlet against the second advent of the dear Saviour.GSAM 152.1

    “The night before I left, another of the reverend gentlemen had a picnic feast at a public house, or hall, and sold as above, his tickets, ice-cream, and sweetmeats. I was happy to hear that some of the churches of the different sects did not approve of such Babylonian feasts; and I do hope, in my soul, that not all of these sectarian churches will be found ‘eating and drinking with the drunken’ when Christ shall come. I am astonished that these reverend gentlemen do not see themselves in the glass of God’s word; and I would recommend them to read Luke 14:12-14; Matthew 24:48-51; Luke 13:25-28; 2 Peter 2:13; Jude 10-21. These are the last times surely.”GSAM 152.2

    If Elder Miller had obtained a view of what the churches have since entered into, in their donation parties, with “ring guess-cakes, ten-cent kissing bees, donkey shows, crazy socials, holy lotteries,” and other chance game arrangements, etc., he would have recoiled with holy horror.GSAM 152.3

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