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    CHARACTER OF THE WORK

    As to the character of the work which resulted from giving what was called the midnight cry, it evidently was the special work of God. It was not, as many supposed, the result of fanaticism.LIFIN 168.3

    1. Because it bore the marks of the especial providence of God. It was not characterized by those extremes ever manifested where human excitement, and not the word and Spirit of God, has the controlling influence. It was in harmony with those seasons of humiliation, rending of heart, confession and complete consecration of all, which are matters of history in the Old Testament, and are made matters of duty in the New.LIFIN 168.4

    2. Because it was subversive of all those forms of fanaticism which had made their appearance somewhat in connection with the Second-Advent cause. And it is a fact, that Satan had crowned upon some who bore the Advent name, almost every stripe of fanaticism he had ever invented. But these were at once swallowed up by the solemn power of the midnight cry, as the rods of the magicians were by the rod of Aaron.LIFIN 169.1

    3. Because the work was marked with sobriety, humility, solemnity, reverence, self-examination, repentance, confessions and tears, instead of lightness, exaltation, trifling, irreverent expressions, self-justification, pride in spiritual things, voluntary humility and will worship, which generally characterize the conduct of fanatics.LIFIN 169.2

    4. Because the work bore the fruit of the Spirit of God, as set forth in the New Testament. It was evidently guided by wisdom from above. The apostle James declares this wisdom from above. The apostle James declares this wisdom to be “first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” Chap. 3:17. Paul says that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Galatians 5:22, 23. These are the good fruits of the work and Spirit of God, and these did all appear in an eminent sense as the results of the midnight cry.LIFIN 169.3

    But fanaticisms are the works of the flesh, the power of Satan being brought to bear upon the carnal mind.LIFIN 170.1

    It is true that Satan seeks to clothe his work, as far as possible, with that which may resemble garments of truth and righteousness. But the experienced observer will not fail to see that he, and those who are brought under his influence, come infinitely short of counterfeiting the work of God. He may succeed in blinding the eyes of men, so that they may not be able to discern the difference between the work of God and his imperfect mimicry. But the work of high Heaven he can not imitate. And when the work of Satan in fanaticism is carried out, and its terrible fruit is ripened into bitterness, its contrast with the fruit of the work and Spirit of God will be seen as wide as Beelzebub with Christ, perdition with all its terror and blackness of despair with the matchless glories of the kingdom of God.LIFIN 170.2

    Reader, there is a difference between the road to life, and that leading to death. And these do not lie side by side. They are in opposite directions. Do not be deceived by those who mix fanaticism with the work of God, and affirm that the compound all came from Heaven. Neither be deceived by those who, seeing evidence of fanaticism in some who have been connected with the Advent cause, denounce the entire movement as being the work of men, or of Satan. I here enter my solemn protest against making one grand Second-Advent chowder of all that in any way has been connected with the great Advent movement, of truth and error, of wisdom from Heaven, and the spirit and work of fanaticism, and then presenting it to the people as being all the work of Satan, or all the work of God. Such insult God by making him the author of fanaticism and confusion. They also please the Devil, by attributing the work of God which he has tried to mar, to his satanic power. That they might do this, and make no difference between the pure work of God and the results of his miserable efforts at counterfeiting, is the spur of his ambition.LIFIN 170.3

    But of all the great religious movements since the days of the first apostles of our Lord, none stand out more pure and free from the imperfections of human nature, and the wiles of Satan, than that of the autumn of 1844. In fact, after looking back upon it for more than twenty years as the greenest spot on all the way in which God has led his people, I do not see how it could have been better, at least so far as the direct providence and work of God is concerned. It was beyond the control of human hands, or human minds. Men and demons sought to hinder and to mar this work, but the power that attended it brushed away their influence, as you would remove a spider’s web, and there stood the work of God free from the print of a man’s hand.LIFIN 171.1

    But as the reader will be better edified by reading the statements and experience of those ministers who had the burden of the work upon them, and were imbued with the spirit of that solemn message, I will here let them speak in confirmation of the foregoing statements.LIFIN 171.2

    Elder George Storrs, New York, September 24, 1844, says:LIFIN 171.3

    “I take up my pen with feelings such as I never before experienced. Beyond a doubt, in my mind, the tenth day of the seventh month will witness the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ in the clouds of heaven. We are then within a few days of the event. Awful moment to those who are unprepared, but glorious to those who are ready. I feel that I am making the last appeal that I shall ever make through the press. My heart is full. I see the ungodly and sinner disappearing from my view, and there now stands before my mind the professed believers in the Lord’s near approach. But what shall I say to them? Alas! we have been slumbering and sleeping, both the wise and the foolish; but so our Saviour told us it would be; and ‘thus the Scriptures are fulfilled,’ and it is the last prophecy relating to the events to precede the personal advent of our Lord; now comes the true midnight cry; the previous was but the alarm. Now the real one is sounding; and oh, how solemn the hour! The ‘virgins’ have been asleep or slumbering; yes, all of us. Asleep on the time; that is the point. Some have indeed preached the seventh month, but it was with doubt whether it is this year or some other; and that doubt is now removed from my mind. ‘Behold the bridegroom cometh,’ this year, ‘go ye out to meet him.’ We have done with the nominal churches and all the wicked, except so far as this cry may affect them; our work is now to wake up the ‘virgins’ who ‘took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom.’ Where are we now? ‘If the vision tarry, wait for it.’ Is not that our answer since March and April? Yes. What happened while the bridegroom tarried? The virgins all slumbered and slept, did they not? Christ’s words have not failed, and ‘the Scriptures cannot be broken,’ and it is of no use for us to pretend that we have been awake. We have been slumbering; not on the fact of Christ’s coming, but on the time. We came into the tarrying time; we did not know ‘how long’ it would tarry, and on that point we have slumbered. Some of us have said in our sleep, ‘Don’t fix another time;’ so we slept. Now the trouble is to wake us up. Lord, help, for vain is the help of man. Speak thyself, Lord. Oh! that the ‘Father’ may now ‘make known’ the time.LIFIN 171.4

    “To illustrate the position we have occupied. Time - the preaching of definite time for the coming of our Lord, was what led us to take our lamps, and go forth to meet the Bridegroom. The great truth, our Lord Jesus Christ is coming again, personally, to this earth, was, so to speak, the rope let down from Heaven, made fast to the throne of God, equally immovable as that throne; by faith, as with both hands, we took hold of that rope; under our feet we had solid platform, time, where we stood, and all opponents could not remove it, nor make us let go of the rope. There we stood, and rejoiced in the ‘blessed hope.’ What our opponents never could and never did do, the end of the supposed Jewish year 1843 effected, viz: swept away our platform from under us, and left us with nothing but the rope to hold on by. Did we let go? Some have, and drawn back to perdition. But many have continued to hold by the rope. The scoffing winds have beat against us severely, and we have swung in the air, the sport of our opponents. They told us we were now with them, looking for the Lord’s coming, but without any definite time; and we have been compelled to admit it, but have refused to let go the rope, saying, ‘If the vision tarry, wait for it.’ But we have not known how long we were thus to swing upon the rope, without a foundation for our feet; and we have not felt the same joy and glory that we did when we stood on definite time. God has been trying our faith, to see if we would hold on. Now, once more, he offers us a platform on which to stand. It is in the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew. Here we have the chronology of the tarrying time, and its duration. ‘If ye shall receive it,’ you will find once more your feet upon a rock, and the glory that the first belief in time produced in our breast, returns with a large addition to it, even a ‘joy unspeakable and full of glory. ’LIFIN 173.1

    “The present strong cry of time commenced about the middle of July, and has spread with great rapidity and power, and is attended with a demonstration of the Spirit, such as I never witnessed when the cry was ‘1843.’ It is now literally, ‘Go ye out to meet him.’ There is a leaving all, that I never dreamed could be seen. Where this cry gets hold of the heart, farmers leave their farms, with their crops standing, to go out and sound the alarm, and mechanics their shops. There is a strong crying with tears, and a consecration of all to God, such as I never witnessed. There is a confidence in this truth such as was never felt in the previous cry, in the same degree; and a weeping or melting glory in it that passes all understanding, except to those who have felt it.LIFIN 174.1

    “On this present truth, I through grace, dare venture all, and feel that to indulge in doubt about it would be to offend God, and bring upon myself ‘swift destruction.’ I am satisfied that now, ‘whosoever shall seek to save his life,’ where this cry has been fairly made, by indulging in an ‘if it don’t come,’ or by a fear to venture out on this truth, ‘shall lose’ his life. It requires the faith that led Abraham to offer up Isaac, or Noah to build the ark, or Lot to leave Sodom, or the children of Israel to stand all night waiting for their departure out of Egypt, or for Daniel to go into the lion’s den, or the three Hebrews to go into the fiery furnace. We have fancied we were going into the kingdom without such a test of faith; but I am satisfied we are not. This last truth brings such a test, and none will venture upon it but such as dare be accounted fools, madmen, or anything else that Antediluvians, Sodomites, a lukewarm church, or sleeping virgins, are disposed to heap upon them. Once more would I cry, ‘Escape for thy life;’ look not behind you; ‘remember Lot’s wife. ’”LIFIN 174.2

    N. Southard, editor of the Midnight Cry, September 26, 1844, says:LIFIN 175.1

    “Before God, whose swift, approaching judgment will bring every secret thing to light, I wish to say, that up to this hour my professed consecration to him has not been complete. If this fact makes me a hypocrite, I have been one. I have not been dead to the world. If all Christians are dead to the world, I have not been a Christian. But I now say, let Christ be all, and let me be nothing. He has a balm for every wound, for his blood cleanseth from all sin; and I, even I, can stand complete in him.LIFIN 175.2

    “After writing thus far, I kneeled and asked God for direction as to what I should say next. I arose and took my Bible, and opening it, read Revelation 7:9-17: ‘After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God, which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb,’ etc. If this great multitude is admitted before the throne, is there anything to keep me from being there? They differ in every conceivable particular from each other, except in two. They have all washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb, and have all suffered great tribulation for his sake. Here, then, is the touchstone. Is your robe all washed clean in the blood of Christ? or have you been insulting him, by trying to patch up a robe out of the filthy rags of your own righteousness? Alas! I have thought that I could rest partly upon myself and partly on Christ. I now cast myself naked and helpless upon that mercy which saved the thief on the cross, which received denying Peter, which honored Mary Magdalene as the first witness of his resurrection, and which changed a persecuting Saul into a chief apostle.LIFIN 175.3

    “But can I bear the second mark? Can I joyfully endure tribulation for Jesus? Not in my own strength, but his grace is sufficient for me. In that grace I believe; Lord, help mine unbelief.LIFIN 176.1

    “One of my besetting sins has been a desire to please those around me, instead of inquiring simply, what would the Lord have me to do, to be, and to say. I confess this before the world, but I cannot confess that I have not thought I was doing right in publishing the evidence of Christ’s near coming. I have not been half enough awake to the greatness of the subject. May God forgive me in this thing, and grant me grace to be wide awake till he comes. Dear reader, are you awake? If not, it is high time to awake out of sleep.”LIFIN 176.2

    Elder F.G. Brown, October 2, 1844, says:LIFIN 176.3

    “I wish to say to all my dear brethren and sisters, who with me have been waiting for the kingdom of Heaven, that I am thoroughly convinced that we are now in that portion of the parable of the ten virgins, represented by the cry at midnight, ‘Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him.’ I fully respond to the cry; my expiring lamp has been re-kindled, and I am now permitted, by God’s grace, to see additional light blazing from the Scriptures, and all converging to one glorious point, the advent of our blessed Lord this very month! My dear friends, I have been in an awful, slumbering, sleeping state. I have been on the verge of perdition; though I have never ceased to cherish in my heart the great and leading doctrines of the Lord’s coming. I thought a few weeks ago that I was in a pretty good state; awful delusion! Look out for deception! Awake, and trim your lamps, or you will be lost after all!”LIFIN 176.4

    Elder J. Litch, late editor of the Advent Herald, Boston, October, 1844, says:LIFIN 177.1

    “I wish to say to my dear brethren and sisters, who are looking for the coming of the Lord on the tenth day of the seventh month, but especially to those who have hesitated on the question, that the strong objections which have existed in my mind against it, are passed away, and I am now convinced that the types, together with the signs of the times, are sufficient authority for believing in the Lord’s coming at that time; and henceforth I shall look to that day with the expectation of beholding the King in his beauty. I bless the name of the Lord for sending this midnight cry to arouse me to go out to meet the Bridegroom. May the Lord make us meet for the inheritance of the saints.”LIFIN 177.2

    William Miller, Low Hampton, N.Y., October 11, 1844, says:LIFIN 177.3

    “I think I have never seen among our brethren such faith as is manifested in the seventh month. ‘He will come,” is the common expression. ‘He will not tarry the second time,’ is their general reply. There is a forsaking of the world, an unconcern for the wants of life, a general searching of heart, confession of sin, and a deep feeling in prayer for Christ to come. A preparation of heart to meet him seems to be the labor of their agonizing spirits. There is something in this present waking up different from anything I have ever before seen. There is no great expression of joy; that is, as it were, suppressed for a future occasion, when all Heaven and earth will rejoice together with joy unspeakable and full of glory. There is no shouting; that, too, is reserved for the shout from Heaven. The singers are silent; they are waiting to join the angelic hosts, the choir from Heaven. No arguments are used or needed; all seem convinced that they have the truth. There is no clashing of sentiments; all are of one heart and of one mind. Our meetings are all occupied with prayer, and exhortation to love and obedience. The general expression is, ‘Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him.’ Amen. Even so come, Lord Jesus.”LIFIN 177.4

    I will here give, as the closing testimony relative to the character of the seventh-month movement, one from the “Advent Shield,” published January, 1845. And let it be borne in mind that the “Shield” was a standard work, of 440 pages, for all Adventists at that time, and that the following testimony from it was not published till about three months after the seventh-month movement, when Adventists had taken time to review the past, and settle, as was supposed, upon a firm, united position.LIFIN 178.1

    “It produced everywhere the most deep searching of heart and humiliation of soul before the God of high Heaven. It caused a weaning of affections from the things of this world, a healing of the controversies and animosities, a confession of wrongs, a breaking down before God, and penitent, broken-hearted supplications to him for pardon and acceptance. It caused self-abasement and prostration of soul, such as we never before witnessed. As God, by Joel, commanded, a rendering of hearts and not of garments, and a turning unto the Lord with fasting, and weeping, and mourning. As God said by Zechariah, a spirit of grace and supplication was poured out upon his children; they looked to him whom they had pierced, there was a great mourning in the land, every family apart and their wives apart, and those who were looking for the Lord afflicted their souls before him. Such was its effect upon the children of God.LIFIN 178.2

    “While none could deny the possibility of the Lord’s then coming, and as the fulfillment of some of the types chronologically at Christ’s first advent rendered it highly probable that those which typified the second advent, would also be chronologically fulfilled, so general an awakening, and with such blessed fruits, could not but impress many minds; and those who were not convinced of the soundness of the typical argument, were led to regard it as a fulfillment of the parable of the ten virgins, in the twenty-fifth of Matthew, - as their arising to trim their lamps, after having gone forth to meet the Bridegroom, and slumbering while he tarried; so that the definite time was finally embraced by nearly all of the Advent faith. So universal a movement among those who a short time before were comparatively asleep on this question, could not be unnoticed by the world.LIFIN 179.1

    “The wicked, consequently, flocked to the various places of meeting, some out of idle curiosity to hear, others out of concern for their spiritual interests, and others still to scoff at solemn things. Those who believed they should so shortly stand in their Saviour’s presence, and whose works corresponded with their faith, could not but feel a nearness of access to God, and sweet communion with him; and the souls of such were greatly blessed. With a realizing sense of such a nearness of the greatest of all events, as we came up to that point of time, all other unnecessary cares were laid aside, and the whole soul was devoted to a preparation for the great event. God being more ready to give than we are to receive, does not permit any thus to plead in vain; and his Holy Spirit came down like copious showers upon the parched earth. It was then evident that there was faith upon the earth, such faith as is ever ready to act in accordance with what the soul believes that God has spoken; such faith as would, in obedience to a supposed command, bid all the pleasures of this world adieu, having respect to the recompense of reward. Such was a faith like that of Abraham’s when, at the command of God, he went out, ‘not knowing whither he went,’ nor withheld his only son; and here were those all ready to join the multitude, who through faith will inherent the promises.”LIFIN 179.2

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