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    9 ORGANIZATION AND THE CIVIL WAR

    The year 1860 marked a new and important feature in the advancement of the work. The printing outfit of hand press and type, valued at $700, which was paid for by donations of our people and moved to Battle Creek in 1855, was augmented in 1857 by the addition of a power press. In 1860, the publishing plant of the Review and Herald, aside from the building, was worth $5,000. While Elder White was legally owner of this property, he did not call it his own but said, “This is the property of the church. I am only managing it.”MML 53.1

    Satan moved upon some enemies to say, “You see how Elder White is building up a property of his own from the liberalities of the people.” To defeat such insinuations and provide proper management of a rapidly growing cause, the elder was impressed that some plan should be devised for conducting the business of the church. To introduce the matter to our people he published an article in the Review of Feb. 28, 1860.MML 53.2

    Responding to White’s request, I wrote an article for the March 8, Review in which I said, “What I understand is necessary to remedy all the defects in this matter is to organize in such a manner that we can hold the property legally.... If it is not wrong to hold farms and village lots in a lawful manner, neither is it wrong to hold church property in the same way.”MML 53.3

    But strangely an article appeared in the March 22, Review by an esteemed brother claiming that Elders White and Loughborough wished to make a name like the builders of the tower of Babel. He claimed we were going into Babylon, uniting church and state. In the next two issues of the paper, Elder White gave a full reply, showing that while it is not right to resort to the civil arm to enforce the worship of God, “the Lord’s goods can be managed in this state of things only according to the laws of the country,” and it was “vain talk of church property” if the church did not hold it legally.MML 53.4

    During the summer of 1860, this question was freely discussed in the Review. In a general meeting of our people held in Battle Creek from September 28 to October 1, there was a candid consideration of the subject, and a full, free discussion of legal organization. It was voted to organize legally a publishing association as soon as possible. The conference also discussed the subject of a name for our people. This again brought diversity of opinion. When “Church of God” was proposed, it was objected to because it gave none of the distinctive features of our faith, while the name “Seventh-day Adventist” would not only set forth our faith in the near coming of Christ, but would also show we observed the Seventh-day Sabbath. So unanimous was the assembly in favor of the latter name, only one man voted against it.MML 53.5

    At a council held in Battle Creek on June 9, one important topic was the distribution of labor. Elder M.E. Cornell was assigned to Ohio for the summer, and I was to join Elder T. M. Steward with the Wisconsin tent. Our first meeting was at Marquette, Wis., on the shore of a beautiful lake, having Rufus Baker as tent master. Our meetings continued here from June 29 to August 4, Nearly a score accepted the truth, among them the Hallecks, earnest missionary workers.MML 54.1

    Just at that time an unfortunate era entered our cause in Wisconsin. From New England came a professed Seventh-day Adventist minister, Solomon Wellcome, with a fanciful theory on the subject of sanctification. I could not accept his teaching, but Steward was anxious for Wellcome to speak. So on the evening after the Sabbath, July 14, he took the service. It seemed to me that his thrusts against obedience to the law, and his exaltation of sanctification when “all our thoughts would be from the Lord,” would lead to fanaticism. Unfortunately, the new doctrine took root there and led to what Sister White labeled “the most unreasonable, foolish, wild fanaticism that ever cursed Wisconsin.”MML 54.2

    At another council in Battle Creek, September 28 to October 1, it was arranged that I should return to Wisconsin, and Elder White hold meetings in New York and Ohio. Accordingly, we each began to lay plans, but on the evening of Oct. 6, Elder White with Elder Cornell came to my home on Champion St. and said, “I feel strangely about our proposed trips. I don’t feel free about going East, and don’t know what it means.”MML 54.3

    After an earnest prayer season we rose from our knees with our minds entirely changed, he with the conviction to go West, and I that I should go East. We changed our appointments without any knowledge of the condition of things in the West. When Elder White reached Mauston, Wisconsin, he found a terrible fanaticism developing. I had no experience in meeting fanaticism, but Elder White’s experience enabled him to labor effectively with those people. 1Elder and Mrs. Steward of Mauston had accepted Solomon Wellcome’s theory of instantaneous sanctification, and were presenting it from church to church. Mrs. Steward claimed the gift of prophecy and related visions countering those of Mrs. White.MML 54.4

    While on this tour, the Lord gave Elder White an impressive dream. As he prayed for the cause in Battle Creek, there seemed to come before him his little child, about six-weeks old, in great distress with a badly swollen head. The night following, he dreamed of trouble with three banks in Battle Creek in which the Review office had deposited funds for the erection of an additional building. He dreamed he saw a banker who was considered the soundest financially, selling second-hand shoes in an old, dilapidated building over the mill race.MML 55.1

    He wrote his wife that he feared all was not well with the babe. I handed the letter to Mrs. White, and as she read it she looked down at the plump, laughing child and said, “I don’t think he would call that child very sick if he should see it now.” That night the child was taken with erysipelas, and in a day or two both eyes were swollen shut. At the request of Mrs. White, I telegraphed Lovias Hall, Morrison, Ill., “Tell Elder White to come home immediately. Child dangerously sick.”MML 55.2

    When Elder White arrived at the home of Eli Wick at Clyde, Ill, he asked if there was a telegram for him. He said, “I don’t expect to fill my appointment here. I look for a telegram from home announcing that my child is very sick.” Ten minutes later, Lovias Hall drove up in his sulky with the dispatch, and White immediately left for home.MML 55.3

    When I met him at the train, his first question was about the child. Then he related the dream about the banks and asked if I had any fears of their being unsafe. On being assured that I had not, he said he was going to get stone, brick, lumber, etc. for the new building, and paper for the Review, so as to draw all the association money from the banks, for he was confident they were going down. The child died soon after Elder White’s return, and every one of the banks failed.MML 55.4

    On Sabbath, Jan. 12, 1861, Elders Waggoner, Smith, White and his wife, and I attended the dedication of the Parkville, Mich. church. At the close of White’s sermon, his wife gave a stirring exhortation. As she sat down in her chair, she was taken off in vision which lasted about twenty minutes. The church was crowded and indeed solemn.MML 56.1

    Dr. Brown was present, a Spiritualistic medium and physically strong. He declared that Mrs. White’s visions were due to spirit mediumship, and that if she had one when he was present, he could bring her out of it in one minute.MML 56.2

    Elder White invited all who wished to do so to come and examine her while in vision. Someone challenged, “Doctor, go ahead and do as you said you would.” White then asked, “Is there a doctor here? We always like to have physicians examine Mrs. White in vision.”MML 56.3

    The doctor started quite bravely, but before he got halfway to Mrs. White, he turned deathly pale and shook like a leaf. He was urged to go on and make the examination. As soon as this was completed, he made his way rapidly to the door and seized the knob to go out. Those standing by prevented him saying, “Go back and do as you said you would do.” Elder White, seeing the doctor trying to get out the door, said, “Will the doctor please report to the audience?” He replied, “Her heart and pulse are regular, but there is not a particle of breath in her body.” Then in great agitation he again grasped the door knob. The people nearby asked, “Doctor, what is it?” He replied, “God only knows! Let me out of here!”MML 56.4

    After coming out of vision, Sister White arose and said, “There is not a single person here who ever dreamed of the trouble that is coming upon this land. People are making sport of the secession of South Carolina, but I have just been shown that a large number of states are going to join that state, and there will be a most terrible war. In this vision I have seen large armies of both sides gathered on the field of battle. I heard the booming of the cannon, and saw the dead and dying on every hand....” Then looking slowly around the church she continued, “There are those in this house who will lose sons in that war.”MML 56.5

    PICTURE The vision was given just three months before the first gun was fired on Fort Sumter.

    Near the stand sat Judge Osborne, whose wife was a Sabbath-keeper. By his side sat Mr. Shelhouse, owner of a large woolen factory, both leading men in the Republican party. When Mrs. White told what was coming, they looked at me and shook their heads. One year from that time when I spoke in the same church, these two men sat together again. My subject was spiritual gifts. In illustration of the gift as manifest by Sister White, I referred to the vision of Jan. 12, 1861. This time, these men did not shake their heads, but instead their faces were in their handkerchiefs, and they sobbing bitter tears. Alas! One had lost his only son in the war. The other had lost a son on the battlefield, and another son was in a Southern prison. The elder of the Parkville Church later told me that he knew of six or seven others there who had lost sons in the war.MML 57.1

    During the summer of 1861, Isaac Sanborn and I held tent meetings in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Our first meetings were at Clinton Junction, June 8 to July 7. Under the circumstances of the national struggle, we felt it advisable to have on the tent pole a flag of the stars and stripes. While there, soldiers who were gathering to their regiments would come to this place and have to wait several hours for a train on another road. Instead of leaving them to camp in the hot sun, we invited them to enjoy the seats and shade of our tent. Before they would leave, they would ask us to speak to them. We tried to give them some wholesome advice, and had prayer with them for which they gave most hearty thanks.MML 57.2

    Our third meeting was held at Davistown, Wisconsin, beside the village commons. A company of soldiers was drilling on the grounds while we erected the tent. It was our custom to put up our flag as soon as the canvas and tent wall were in place. When we erected our pole with the flag rope attached, Brother Decker, our tent master, overheard the captain ask, “Boys, what kind of flag is going up there? We must watch and see.” When we learned this we said, “Brother Decker, run up the flag at once!”MML 57.3

    Captain Cain stopped his drill, came to us and said, “Gentlemen, your property will be protected, for Lincoln has given orders that the soldiers protect all property over which the United States flag floats.” True to their promise, when our meetings opened, two men on sentry duty marched back and forth, giving each other the hand salute.MML 57.4

    We learned that a war rally was appointed on the commons for Sabbath, Aug. 24. The owner who had given us free use of the ground upon which the tent was pitched, and the man who owned the seats asked us for the use of the tent for a war meeting, so the people would not have to stand in the hot sun. There flashed into my mind the thought, “What if our church at Avon, only a few miles away, learns that a war rally was held in our tent the very first Sabbath of our series? We will risk an explanation to them rather than the wrath of the people for refusing them shade on their own land.” We did not stop to parley over the matter, for had we said “No” we might as well pack up and leave. So we replied, “Occupy the tent, and welcome.”MML 58.1

    Although we knew their war meetings were opened with prayer, it did not occur to us that they might ask us to take part, but at their first meeting I was asked to offer prayer. I know God helped me to pray with a tender heart, not only for the preservation of those liberties for which our fathers fought, but for the soldiers who were risking their lives in the war.MML 58.2

    In September, 1862, the Michigan Conference held its first session in Monterey. Here for the first time was presented the idea of churches being received into conferences, as members were voted into churches. At this conference also a plan was adopted of paying ministers a weekly sum for their services. The Michigan Conference for the year just then closed, settled with salaries varying from $4 to $7 per week.MML 58.3

    In October of this year, Moses Hull, who was considered a good debater, held a discussion in Paw Paw, Mich. with a noted Spiritualist named Jamieson. At that time Hull partially fell under the influence of satanic delusion. On Nov. 5, several persons assembled at my home to talk with him. At the close of the interview, we had a prayer season, and while in a kneeling posture, Mrs. White was taken off in vision. Some of the things she saw at this time are recorded in Testimonies, Vol.1, page 426.MML 58.4

    My next-door neighbor, Mr. Diagneau, had never before seen her in vision, and so used many tests to satisfy himself that she did not breathe, that she knew nothing of what transpired around her, and that she was controlled by a superior power.MML 59.1

    Mr. Diagneau was a strong man, a stone mason. While in vision Mrs. White would clasp her hands together upon her chest, and he could not by the utmost exertion raise one finger sufficiently to get his thumb and finger between her finger and hand. Almost the next moment she would unclasp her hands and gracefully move her arm and hand toward the subject she seemed to be viewing.MML 59.2

    While her arm was extended, Elder White said, “Brother Diagneau, that looks like an easy motion, and as though you, a strong man, could easily bend her arm. You can try it if you wish.” He then placed his knee in the bend of her elbow, and taking hold of the extended hand with both his hands, pulled backward with all his might without bending it in the least. He commented, “I would as soon try to bend an iron bar as that arm.” Before he had closed the sentence, her arm passed gracefully back to her chest, but with a force that slid his feet on the floor while trying to resist. He at once admitted that there was superhuman strength connected with the vision, for he well knew Mrs. White to be a woman of delicate health.MML 59.3

    PICTURE

    On Nov. 24, 1862, two meetings were held at the same hour in the home of William Wilson of Greenville, for the purpose of organizing two churches. The meeting for the Greenville Church was conducted by Elder and Mrs. White, while Elder Byington and I met in another room with the West Plains Church. While we were busy with preliminary work, we could hear Mrs. White’s voice in the other room. We were having some difficulties when, just at the opportune time, Mrs. White opened the door and said, “Brother Loughborough, I see by looking over this company that I have testimonies for some of the persons present. When you are ready, I will come in and speak.” Since this was just the time we needed help, she came in. Aside from Elder Byington and me, she knew the names of only three persons in the room. The others were strangers except as they had been presented to her in vision.MML 60.1

    As she arose to speak, she said, “You will have to excuse me in relating what I have to say if I describe your persons, as I do not know your names. As I see your faces, there comes before me what the Lord has shown me concerning you. That man in the corner with one eye (someone spoke, “His name is Pratt.”) makes high professions, and great pretensions of religion, but he has never been converted. Do not take him into the church in his present condition for he is not a Christian. He spends much of his time idling about the shops and stores arguing the theory of the truth, while his wife at home has to cut the firewood, look after the garden, etc. He makes promises in his bargains that he does not fulfill. His neighbors have no confidence in him. It would be better for the cause of religion for him to say nothing about it.”MML 60.2

    She continued, “This aged brother (as she pointed to him some one said, “Brother Barr”) was shown to me in direct contrast with the other man. He is very exemplary in his life, careful to keep his promises, and provides well for his family. He hardly ventures to speak of the truth to his neighbors for fear he will mar the work and do harm. He does not know how the Lord can be so merciful as to forgive his sins, and thinks himself unfit to belong to the church.” She then said, “Brother Barr, the Lord bade me tell you that you have confessed all the sins you know of, and that He forgave your sins long ago, if you will only believe it.”MML 60.3

    Brother Barr looked up with a smile, “Has He?”MML 61.1

    “Yes,” responded Mrs. White, “and I was told to say to you, Come along and unite with the church and, as you have opportunity, speak a word in favor of the truth. It will have good effect for your neighbors have confidence in you.”MML 61.2

    He replied, “I will.”MML 61.3

    Continuing, she said, “If Mr. Pratt could for a time take a position similar to that of Brother Barr, it would do him good.”MML 61.4

    The moment the meeting closed, Mr. Pratt stated with vehemence, “I tell you, there is no use trying to go with this people and act the hypocrite. You can’t do it!”MML 61.5

    In the Nov. 5 vision, statements were also made concerning Moses Hull. “Brother Hull has been dealt with faithfully. He has felt that he was too much restrained, that he could not act out his own nature. While the power of truth in all its force influenced him, he was comparatively safe, but break the force and power of truth upon his mind, and there is no restraint, the natural propensities take the lead, and there is no stopping place.... He was represented to me as standing upon the brink of an awful gulf, ready to leap. If he takes the leap, it will be fatal; his eternal destiny will be fixed.”MML 61.6

    The following winter Mr. Hull preached some in Michigan, seeking by this means to banish his doubts. In the spring of 1863, he accompanied me in tent meetings in New England, but during the whole time he had seasons of doubting and rallying. On Sept.20, he gave a sermon on the trials, conflicts, and victories of those who battle against sin. At the close of his remarks he told the congregation not to look to him, as his course would not affect the truth. After the meeting he said to me, “Tomorrow I shall leave for Ligonier, Indiana, where my people are. I shall not preach anymore.” And so he did. When I next heard from him, he was advocating Spiritualism.MML 61.7

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