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    Chapter 23

    Fall of the Ottoman Empire — Passing of the Second Woe — Space of Time to Proclaim the First Angel’s Message, Revelation 14:6, 7 — Conferences — Trials on Leaving the Church — Moral-Reform Societies — Boston Conference in 1842 — Prophetic Charts — Campmeeting in Littleton, Mass., in August, 1842 — Taunton, Mass., in September — Salem, Mass., in October — Power and Work of the First Angel’s Message.

    CHAPTER twenty-two closed with the Conference in the city of Lowell, Mass. The history of the fall of the Ottoman supremacy will be found in J. Litch’s Prophetic Expositions, Vol. II., pages 181-200. On pages 198 and 199 is the summing up of his conclusive argument, showing how clearly the prophecy in Revelation 9:13-15 was fulfilled on the 11th of August, 1840. On pages 189, 190, will be found the reliable testimony of an eye-witness, who states facts to prove the same point, seemingly without any knowledge of the prophecy, or Litch’s exposition of it. Here it is:—LELJB 267.1

    “The following is from Rev. Mr. Goodell, missionary of the American Board at Constantinople, addressed to the Board, and by them published in the Missionary Herald, for April, 1841, p. 160:—LELJB 268.1

    “‘The power of Islamism is broken forever; and there is no concealing the fact even from themselves. They exist now by mere sufferance. And though there is a mighty effort made by the Christian governments to sustain them, yet at every step they sink lower and lower with fearful velocity. And though there is a great endeavor made to graft the institutions of civilized and Christian countries upon the decayed trunk, yet the very root itself is fast wasting away by the venom of its own poison. How wonderful it is, that, when all Christendom combined together to check the progress of Mohammedan power, it waxed exceedingly great in spite of every opposition; and now when all the mighty potentates of Christian Europe, who feel fully competent to settle all the quarrels, and arrange the affairs of the whole world, are leagued together for its protection and defense, down it comes, in spite of all their fostering care. ’”LELJB 268.2

    These astounding facts prove that the prophecy of the sounding of the sixth angel for three hundred and ninety-one years and fifteen days, ended on the 11th day of August, 1840, and at the same time the second woe passed, and behold, the third woe cometh quickly.LELJB 268.3

    Mark, this short space of time called “quickly,” is the whole period of time from the passing of the second woe and sixth angel, to the commencing of the third woe, and the sounding of the seventh angel. This space of time called quickly, defines the time to announce to every nation and kindred and tongue and people that Christ is coming, by the proclamation of the angel’s message in Revelation 14:6, 7. This is in accordance with the testimony of the Saviour. Matthew 24:3, 14.LELJB 269.1

    No marvel, then, that those who had been looking with intense anxiety for the passing away of the Ottoman supremacy, saw with such clearness that the time had come for a body of people to proclaim the message in question from thence down to the ending of the prophetic periods of Daniel’s vision. And that the time had then come for this message to go to every nation was still further demonstrated by a call for a Second-Advent Conference to be held in Boston about the time the Ottoman Empire lost its supremacy, and many weeks before the news of its fall reached the United States. At the close of this Conference, which was convened in October 1840, an address of the Conference setting forth the views of the assembled body respecting the second advent of our Lord, was sent forth to the world, and from thence the work continued until the message ended in the autumn of 1844.LELJB 269.2

    Opposition from various quarters was now being made manifest, nevertheless the cause was daily increasing. In October, 1841, the third Conference was held in Portland, Maine, which gave a new impulse to the cause in that section of the country. Conferences were held in other places during the winter, particularly in New York City, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Early in the spring of this year Elds. Himes and Fitch held a Conference in Providence, R. I. Here, for the first time, I became acquainted with Bro. Fitch. His clear expositions of the prophecies relative to the second coming of our Lord, were listened to with deep interest. His preaching, in connection with that of Eld. Himes, deeply affected the hearts of the people, and a great many professed strong faith in the near coming of the Lord.LELJB 269.3

    It was truly wonderful how fast professed Christians could believe the evidences of the near coming of the Lord from the teaching of the Bible and history, and then disbelieve on no better authority than a sneer, a laugh, or “How do you know? Nobody knows anything about it.” Some of my brethren of the Washington-Street Christian Church also began to wane in their Advent faith, and would say to me sometimes at the close of our social meetings, “Bro. Bates, we wish you would not say so much about the second coming of Christ.” “Why,” said I, “don’t you believe it is as true now as it was when Bro. Miller preached it here last year, and you believed it?” “Well, we believe Christ is coming, but no one knows when. Bro. Miller taught that it would be about 1843. But we don’t think so. We like to hear you exhort and pray, but we don’t like to hear you say so much about the second coming of Christ, and the time.”LELJB 270.1

    About this time the church elected a pastor, which was a source of deep trial to those who were more deeply interested in the Advent movement. Several of these interested ones sought and obtained their dismission. I continued in deep trial on this point for several weeks, hoping for some change for the better. I besought the Lord for light in this matter, and that which was granted me was quietly to withdraw and be free. I did so, and notified the trustees of the meeting-house that I was ready to dispose of my interest in the premises. They declined my offer, which left me at liberty to dispose of it publicly, which I did at quite a sacrifice. I was now relieved from about twelve years’ responsibilities and care, in aiding to build up and sustain a free church, who took the Bible for their only rule of faith and practice.LELJB 270.2

    Four of us, members of the church, had united and built the meeting-house at a cost of over nine thousand dollars, nearly three-quarters of which belonged to us at the time I withdrew. Some of my good friends that were engaged in the temperance and abolition cause, came to know why I could not attend their stated meetings as formerly, and argued that my belief in the coming of the Saviour should make me more ardent in endeavoring to suppress these growing evils. My reply was, that in embracing the doctrine of the second coming of the Saviour, I found enough to engage my whole time in getting ready for such an event, and aiding others to do the same, and that all who embraced this doctrine would and must necessarily be advocates of temperance and the abolition of slavery; and those who opposed the doctrine of the second advent could not be very effective laborers in moral reform. And further, I could not see duty in leaving such a great work to labor single-handed as we had done, when so much more could be accomplished in working at the fountain-head, making us every way right as we should be for the coming of the Lord.LELJB 271.1

    In May, 1842, a General Conference was convened in Boston, Mass. At the opening of this meeting, Brn. Charles Fitch and Apollos Hale, of Haverhill, presented the pictorial prophecies of Daniel and John, which they had painted on cloth, with the prophetic numbers, showing their fulfillment. Bro. Fitch, in explaining from his chart before the Conference, said that while examining these prophecies, he had thought if he could get out something of the kind as here presented it would simplify the subject and make it much easier for him to present to an audience. Here was more light in our pathway. These brethren had been doing what the Lord had shown Habakkuk in his vision 2468 years before, saying, “Write the vision and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time.” Habakkuk 2:2.LELJB 272.1

    After some discussion on the subject, it was voted unanimously to have three hundred similar to this one lithographed, which was soon accomplished. They were called “the ‘43 charts.” This was a very important Conference. A camp-meeting was now appointed to convene the last week in June, at East Kingston, N. H., where an immense multitude assembled to hear the glad tidings of the soon-coming of our blessed Lord. I had not the pleasure of attending this meeting, but heard most stirring reports of what was accomplished there. Camp-meetings and conferences were now being multiplied throughout the Middle and Northern States, and Canada, and the messengers were proclaiming, in the language of the message, “The hour of His Judgment is come!”LELJB 272.2

    During the month of August, 1842, a Second-Advent camp-meeting was held in Littleton, Mass. This was the first camp-meeting that I had ever attended. It was quite a novel thing to see such a variety of tents pitched around the ministers’ stand, among the tall, shady trees. At the opening of the meeting, we learned that those who occupied them were families from the various towns in the vicinity of the camp, and the city of Lowell, who were interested in the Advent doctrine.LELJB 273.1

    The subject of the prophecies connected with the second coming of our blessed Lord and Saviour, was the theme of ministers and people. All, except a mob who came to break up the meeting, seemed deeply interested; and these, after becoming acquainted with the nature of the meeting, ceased to trouble us, and peace, harmony, and love prevailed during the entire meeting.LELJB 273.2

    In September following, another camp-meeting was held in the southern part of Massachusetts, in the town of Taunton, in a beautiful grove of tall pines, by the railroad, between Boston and New Bedford. This meeting was one of deep interest to the Advent cause, and opened the way for tens of thousands to hear the proclamation of a coming Saviour. The cars, passing to and from these cities twice a day, landed the people in crowds on the camp-ground. A large number of ministers were in attendance. Eld. Josiah Litch took the lead of this meeting, which continued for about a week. At one of our morning prayer-meetings, as the invitation was given for those to come forward who wished to be prayed for, among the mourners it was said there were about thirty ministers who prostrated themselves, some of them on their faces, beseeching God for mercy, and a preparation to meet their coming Lord! The preaching was clear, and was accompanied with great power of the Holy Spirit.LELJB 273.3

    During this meeting, Eld. Millard, on his way home from a tour in Palestine, stopped at the camp-ground. Eld. Litch asked him a number of questions before the congregation, in relation to his mission-what he had learned while abroad in that country relative to the doctrine of the second advent. He replied that it was known and spoken of there. This information was reliable and cheering. We had believed, but this was knowledge from another quarter, that the message of the flying angel was crossing land and sea, to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. On Sunday, it was judged that there were ten thousand people in the camp. The clear, weighty, and solemn preaching of the second coming of Christ, and the fervent prayers and animated singing of the new Second-Advent hymns, accompanied by the Spirit of the living God, sent such thrills through the camp that many were shouting aloud for joy.LELJB 274.1

    While the committee were moving around in the congregation, receiving contributions to defray the expenses of the meeting, some of the sisters began to take out their ear-rings and strip off their finger rings and other jewelry, which example was followed by many others; and all thrown into the contribution. From this a report was soon circulated abroad, that the Taunton camp-meeting had taken up in their collection about three flour barrels full of jewelry! The committee of arrangements, anticipating some wrong report about this matter, dispatched one of their number on the first train to New Bedford, instructing him to sell all the jewelry for cash. He did so, and returned with seven dollars! We considered this about six times less than what it should have sold for, the whole of which would have filled a pint measure. This was in keeping with many other false reports of Second-Advent meetings which were retailed about the world for facts. This meeting was a very important one, and it opened the way for hundreds of Second-Advent meetings in the various towns and villages in that region of country.LELJB 274.2

    In about four weeks another camp-meeting commenced three miles back of the city of Salem, Mass. For interest and numbers, this surpassed any meeting that I had ever attended. Eld. Joshua V. Himes had the charge, and pitched his big tent there, which was said to hold about seven thousand people. On approaching this meeting from the city of Salem, the main streets, crossroads, lanes, and paths were crowded with teams and carriages loaded with people, besides the jam of foot passengers, all crowding through the thick, smothering dust to the camp-ground. Here in the large stone-walled pasture ground, interspersed with high, ragged rocks, clumps of bushes and straggling trees, bounded by woods on two sides and water on another, the city of Salem in the distance in another direction, were pitched the numerous tents for the great meeting. The big tent loomed above them all like a light-house, pointing to the looked-for harbor of the mariner, inviting the pressing multitude to enter and listen to the messengers of God proclaiming with stentorian voices the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.LELJB 275.1

    The preaching was on the great leading doctrines of the second advent. Ministers and people listened with profound attention, desiring to know if these things were so, and what to do to fit them for that day. The ministers present who preached were Elds. Himes, Litch, Fitch, Hale, Plumer, Cole, and others. So anxious were the people to hear on this great subject, that those who could not be accommodated in the big tent could be seen in the distance congregated under trees and clumps of trees, listening to selected ministers, explaining from the ‘43 chart, fastened to the trees.LELJB 276.1

    When the preaching meetings closed, prayer-meetings and praying circles for the unconverted commenced in the tents. The evenings were more especially devoted to this part of the work. Anxious souls who became fully convinced by listening to the truth, sought and found relief in these praying circles. Sometimes after listening to the united, earnest prayers, the shout of victory would follow, and then the rush to the tents to learn who was converted, and to hear them tell what Jesus had done for them, and how they loved his appearing. And those who wished to see the onward progress of this work of God, could join with the groups of men and women with their selected ministers passing down to the water-bound side of the camp, and there, in accordance with their faith, and in obedience to Him who had set them free from sin, see them buried with him by baptism, and while returning on their way rejoicing, meet with others going to be buried in like manner.LELJB 276.2

    Bro. Miller, with others, was attending conferences and camp-meetings in other States, and his engagements were such that he could not see it duty to be at any of these meetings in Massachusetts which I have mentioned. Eld. Cole, while speaking of his last meeting, on the preachers’ stand, said, “Last evening I preached in the meeting-house in Merideth, N. H. to a crowded house, and the people were so absorbed in the subject of the coming of Christ, that they remained on their knees after I had closed the meeting, so that I had to pick out my way by stepping over their heads, to be out of the meeting in time to secure my passage to the Salem camp-meeting, and when I got out of the house the people in the yard were also on their knees, and thus I passed on, obliged to leave them.”LELJB 277.1

    At the time the train of cars was coming in from Newburyport to Boston, Bro. Litch had reached a point in his discourse respecting the prophecy of Nahum, how that in the day of God’s preparation “the chariots shall rage in the streets,” “they shall seem like torches, they shall run like the lightnings,” when he cried out, “Don’t you hear them?” Yes, we did; for they were then dashing by us like a streak of light for the Salem station. The time and manner to prove to his audience the fulfillment of this prophecy, and make us feel that we had most clearly entered into the day of God’s preparation, produced a thrilling sensation in the camp.LELJB 277.2

    On Sunday, it was judged there were fifteen thousand people in the camp. Here Bro. Fitch took leave of his brethren and started for the West, to spread the glad tidings of a coming Saviour. Two brethren in the ministry also started about this time to preach the second advent of Christ in England. This meeting gave an impetus to the cause that was wide-spread and lasting. When the camp broke up, a multitude from thence repaired to the Salem depot to secure their passages for Boston and vicinity. Some accident occurring to the trains from Newburyport detained us in the Salem station for some two hours. Here our company commenced singing Advent hymns, and became so animated and deeply engaged that the people in the city came out in crowds, and seemed to listen with breathless attention until the cars came and changed the scene. Eld. S. Hawley, a Congregationalist preacher who confessed faith in the Advent doctrine about this time, was invited to preach on the subject in the city of Salem, on Sunday. On attending to his appointment a few weeks afterward, he reported that the excitement there on this subject was intense. It was judged that he had seven thousand hearers.LELJB 277.3

    Second-Advent publications were now multiplying, and through the daily journals it was astonishing to learn with what rapidity this glorious doctrine was being proclaimed throughout the length and breadth of the Union and the Canadas. The people in the various States, counties, towns, cities, and villages, were all being aroused to hear the glad tidings.LELJB 278.1

    Eld. E. R. Pinney, of New York, in his exposition of Matthew 24, says: “As early as 1842, Second-Advent publications had been sent to every missionary station in Europe, Asia, Africa, America, and both sides of the Rocky Mountains.”LELJB 278.2

    As no work of God had ever aroused the nations of the earth in such a powerful and sudden manner since the first advent of the Saviour and the day of Pentecost, the evidence was powerful and prevailing that this work was the fulfilling of the prophecy of the flying angel “in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to him, for the hour of his Judgment is come.”LELJB 278.3

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