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    Just after the World War I attended a conference in Moldavia. I had hardly known there was such a province in Rumania. But when the leader, S. Demetrescu, hung up the map of Moldavia, dotted over with marks representing groups of believers, I exclaimed, “How did we ever get into all those places so quickly?” He replied:HEVI 108.4

    “Our people are good missionaries. When they meet travelers on the road, and according to country custom are asked, ‘What is the news?’ they reply, ‘The seventh day is the Sabbath, and Jesus Christ is coming soon.’ And people go on to their villages telling what they have heard-‘The seventh day is the Sabbath, and Christ is coming soon.’ So the villages are set talking and discussing. Also when our people go to market they tell the news to everyone they meet, to all with whom they do business. That is one way that we have found the truth spreading quickly into all parts.”HEVI 108.5

    That was the ancient way, too, as history reveals. We are told that the Old English word “gospel” meant “good news.” The Anglo-Saxon version of the Gospel of Mark, for instance, entitles it, “The Good News After Marcus’ Telling.”HEVI 108.6

    Captain Bates started out to tell the news from the moment he found final confirmation of the Sabbath message on his visit to the New Hampshire believers. First of all, evidently, he brought the matter to an issue in his own church of New Bedford and Fairhaven (Massachusetts), the two towns joined by the bridge that became famous in our story of the conversation which took place there between Captain Bates and an Adventist neighbor, Mr. Hall.HEVI 108.7

    A member of this group was an Adventist blacksmith, H. S. Gurney. His son, Charles H. Gurney, now living in Michigan, tells us that his father’s blacksmith shop was at the head of the river, about six miles out of New Bedford. As a youth, before his marriage, H. S. Gurney toured the South with Elder Bates, in the 1844 advent preaching campaigns. He was six feet tall, of powerful physique, and was noted, his son tells us, for his fine, strong musical voice. “He did not pose as a preacher; but as an ‘exhorter’ his work was effective.” It is interesting to be told that he was with Elder Bates on that island in the Chesapeake, when, as the autobiography of Joseph Bates tells us, a mob threatened to ride Elder Bates on a rail. Readers of that book will remember that Elder Bates, who was then a fairly old man, won some friends by boldly accepting the situation and asking that a saddle be put on the rail. Then it was that a husky man of the island took Elder Bates by the arm and led him safely away. The presence of the six-foot blacksmith, young Gurney, may also have helped to restrain boisterous elements.HEVI 108.8

    Brother Gurney became one of the veteran burden bearers in our early cause in New England and in Michigan. Many years ago he put on our record a note about Elder Bates’ first effort to promote the Sabbath truth in the New Bedford group. Joseph Bates had evidently brought back for New Hampshire a tract on the Sabbath-perhaps one of those that Rachel Preston had brought into Washington village from her former Seventh Day Baptist associates, or possibly Preble’s first tract had come to him. H. S. Gurney wrote about it in 1888:HEVI 108.9

    “At this time we were still waiting for something, we hardly knew what. The third angel’s message was still shaded, and the Sabbath truth had not shone out. In the spring of 1845, Joseph Bates came into our meeting with a little tract showing that we were keeping the wrong day for the Sabbath. He said he had examined it, and found it to be the truth, and he was going to keep the seventh day according to the commandment. A few of us investigated the subject, and came to the same conclusion. We then realized as never before the force and bearing of the text in Revelation 14:12: ‘Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.’ The little company felt that another stone was laid in the foundation, and we were joyful in God, believing that He was leading us in our work.”-The Review and Herald, January 3, 1888.HEVI 108.10