Signs of the Times and Expositor of Prophecy [Himes], vol. 5- Contents
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March 22, 1843
Vol. V.—No. 3. Boston, Whole No. 99
THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES
Course of the Boston Recorder rebuked
The following article was sent to the Boston Recorder a few weeks since, but as that paper declined publishing it, the author requests us to give it through the “Signs of the Times,” with which request we cheerfully comply. Ed.HST March 22, 1843, page 17.2
Mr. Editor:—There has, during the last few months, appeared an occasional article in your columns, having reference, more or less direct, to the views respecting the Millennium, now somewhat extensively promulgated, and known by the term “Millerism.” The object of those articles, so far as they relate to this subject, is, most obviously, to convince your readers that this kind of “faith is vain”—that the belief in the “Coming of Christ at hand” is a delusion.HST March 22, 1843, page 17.3
The subject is one, in itself, calculated to excite a deep interest in any mind religiously educated, as a large portion of the people of New-England have been, that seriously contemplates it; and when we add to this, the zeal and ability with which these views are advocated, it is not surprising that an unwonted intensity of feeling should, to some extent, pervade those portions of the community, which have most largely shared the labors of those who believe the present order of things in this world will cease before the current year shall have completed its course. Nor is it matter of wonder that this intensity of feeling should occasionally manifest itself in seeming extravagances, since extravagant manifestations of highly excited religious feeling are by no means uncommon; and should the zealous preaching of the doctrine, under consideration, occasionally result in insanity, as has been so often alleged, even this effect is not new, nor is it peculiar to Mr. Miller’s exposition of the Scriptures, as the official documents from our public institutions for the insane abundantly testify. But, be the consequences direct or remote, or what they may, it is hardly reasonable to expect that an honest and earnest spirit of inquiry, on a subject so momentous, will be fully satisfied or silenced, by merely saying to it, “of that day and that hour knoweth no man,” when it is at the same time strenuously maintained, by our most distinguished and approved “teachers in Israel,” that these words were originally spoken with exclusive reference to an event that transpired almost’ eighteen hundred years ago; nor by saying, that to be prepared for the hour of one’s death is all the same as to be prepared for “the coming of the Son of Man in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory,” unless it be shown that this awfully sublime language does not, and never did, express anything more or less than that “death which reigned from Adam to Moses,” and which has continued from Moses to the present time. Nor does it very satisfactorily refute Mr. Miller’s calculations of, prophetic time, and his general expositions and application of the descriptive parts of Scripture, to show that he has been mistaken in some minor matters pertaining to the condition of the human race,’ or any particular portions of it, immediately previous to the final consummation. Dr. Hopkins, in his treatise on the Millennium, makes it appear that “the battle of the great day of God Almighty,” which, according to him, is to precede and prepare the way for the millennial state, will commence about 1843. Now, supposing the divine judgments, which are to constitute this battle, should not be manifest, by an unprecedented prevalence of wars, pestilences, famines, and earthquakes, for five years to come, probably very few millenarians would regard his failure in this particular, as a sufficient ground to justify the conclusion that his views were “all moonshine.”—Nor, again, will the cry of “fanaticism,” against any one whose faith is deemed more than a “grain of mustard seed,” or of “infidelity,” if it thought less, be likely to impress with much force reflecting minds, imbued with that “charity which hopeth all things,” “is the end of the commandment,” and “shall cover the multitude of sins.”—This mode of argumentation has become quite to stale to be employed with great effect in these day. Nor, lastly, is it any scriptural or logical argument against Mr. M’s belief in the “Advent near,” say that “he is surrounding his farm with a solid brick wall, to last a thousand years,” unless I may first be relied on as a fact, that he owns a farm in the place where the construction of such wall I said to be in progress.HST March 22, 1843, page 17.4
Having specified a few things as samples merely which cannot, or at least ought not, to be regarded as possessing in themselves, (however well they may be set home to men’s understandings, by ridicule an sarcasm) sufficient weight to subvert the theory in question, I beg leave to propound a few plain queries, to which, if you, or some of your able correspondents will furnish full and explicit answers, embracing such a scope as the questions not only admit, but naturally suggest, something, it is believed will be done by way of enlightenining and satisfying many a mind, now groping in darkness, and anxiously seeking after light.HST March 22, 1843, page 17.5
1. Does the 24th chapter of Matthew, the 13th Mark, and the 21st of Luke contain predictions of and a specification of signs which shall precede any event yet future? Or, did all that is found written in those chapters receive its complete fulfilment at the destruction of Jerusalem, A. D. 70, as now maintained by many opponents of Mr. M’s scheme? If writers against his views are right on this point what answer is it to his arguments to say, “of that day and that hour knoweth no man,” as is so commonly done, unless it be shown first, that he is laboring to prove that Jerusalem will be destroyed in 1843? Must not the “day and hour,” here spoken of, mean the day and hour of the event, concerning which, and which alone, Christ was giving the disciples instruction? Or what answer is it to say, “the gospel must first be preached in all the world, for a witness to all nations,” if, at the same time, it be contended that the gospel was so preached by the Apostles of our Lord, in obedience to the command, “go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature,” before Jerusalem was destroyed; and that the end which, it is added, shall then come, means only the end of the Jewish dispensation?—Does not any argument, on this ground, against the end of the world to come in 1843, lie with equal force against an end to come at any other time? If the command, “go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, was fully obeyed eighteen centuries ago, and the prediction or promise that the gospel should be preached “in all the world,” completely fulfilled, then are the missionary efforts, which have been put forth during the last fifty years, in obedience to any express command to us? How many times is the gospel to be lost, and the nations to sit in darkness, and to be preached to them that they may behold its light, before the “end come?” If the ideas advanced against Mr. M. be correct, must not the cause of missions rest its claims for support on the same foundation as that of temperance, or any other cause, having for its object the moral improvement and happiness of the human family? Is it a satisfactory answer to this last inquiry to say, as has been said, that the prediction was fulfilled, but the command was not? Can these difficulties be obviated, except by supposing that this prediction, and this command, looked forward far beyond those “last days,” when the Apostles, “upon whom the ends of the world had come,” lived, and that they are destined to receive a more complete fulfilment in these “last days,”—the gospel being preached to all the nations now known? But will this bring us to a realization of the popular notions of a millennium? Does not the language plainly indicate a different result? “And then shall the END come.” What end, if not that prefigured by the end of the Jewish nation, and the destruction, of which Jerusalem’s destruction may be regarded as the type?HST March 22, 1843, page 17.6
2. Is the language of the chapters above referred to, which we have been accustomed to hear so frequently applied to an event as yet future, “used merely by way of accommodation,” as we are now sometimes told, and not as originally designed to express, or, in any sense, refer to, an event yet to come? If so, how many other passages in the New Testament, of like import and phraseology, are employed in the same way, without the slightest intimation ever being given that they are used only by way of accommodation? And where is that taught to which these portions of Scripture are thus accommodated? How many comings of Christ “in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory,” “in the glory of his Father, with all the holy angels,” “taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel,” are we taught to expect? If all that is predicted in these chapters has long since received its final accomplishment, what is there in the gospels or writings of the apostles that has not? Does it appear consistent to assert that at the destruction of Jerusalem, “the sun was darkened, the moon did not give her light, the stars did fall from heaven, and then appeared the Sign of the Son of Man in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth mourned; and they saw the Sun of Man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory”—and to deny that then, also, the (Jewish) “heavens were dissolved, and the elements (of the Mosaic dispensation) did melt with fervent heat?” Or is it reasonable to suppose that Christ preached a “coming” at one time, and in one manner, and that Paul and Peter preached his coming at a time and in a manner differing toto calo?HST March 22, 1843, page 17.7
3. Did the apostles preach the “second coming of Christ at hand?” Did they expect to witness it during their natural lives? If so, were they mistaken? And if mistaken, what becomes of the doctrine of “plenary inspiration,” as usually taught?HST March 22, 1843, page 17.8
4. Do the 2300 days mentioned in , and the 1290, and the 1335 days, , mean days or years? Do the time, times, and half a time, , and ; and ; and the forty-two months, , and ; and the 1260 days, , and ; all express a period of time of the same length? And if so, is the period thus variously expressed, three and a half years, or twelve hundred and sixty years? Have not all the most popular orthodox commentators, for the last two hundred years, agreed that, in all these in stances, the language is to be understood typically—“each day for a year?” Among those who have so explained the prophetic writings, may we not reckon Mede, Sir Isaac Newton, bishop Newton, Hopkins, Fuller, Lowman, Edwards, Bagster, Doddridge, ‘Woodhouse, Scott, Faber, and many others of that class? Is it not on the admitted principle that prophetic time is thus symbolically expressed, that all the calculations which have heretofore been made respecting the downfall of Popery, and the extermination of Mohammedanism, and the consquent introduction of the Millennium, have been based?—And can any calculations, as to the time when these anticipated events will take place, be made, except on this principle or rule of interpretation? Abandon this, and can it he clearly shown that these events will ever come? Admit that the “forty-two months,” “time, times, and half a time,” and 1260 days in Revelation, moan only three and a half years, which ended more than seventeen hundred years since, and what shall we think of most that has been written, since the Reformation, concerning Papacy, as the “beast having seven heads and ten horns,” which received power “to make war with the saints” twelve hundred and sixty years? Admit this, and can it be proved that Papacy is any more the subject of prophecy than Mormonism?HST March 22, 1843, page 17.9
But assuming that we have been rightly instructed heretofore on this point, is not the time near “when all these things shall be fulfilled?” Have not all our standard writers pointed to the present period of the world for their accomplishment? Is not the difference in the results to which they have severally come, owing solely to the difficulty of fixing, with certainty, the exact time from which to date the 2300 years? And does Mr. M. differ more widely from them, than they do from each other? Does he not here occupy a middle ground: and is he not, therefore, quite as likely to be right on the question of time as Faber, or others, whose conclusions have been so generally adopted?HST March 22, 1843, page 18.1
5. Are not the views maintained by Mr. M. respecting the manner of the Millennium, essentially the same as those most prevalent during the first three centuries of the Christian era? If so, is not this circumstance in his favor? Are we not often referred to the opinions and practice of the early Christians, by way of settling doubtful or controverted points? If their authority is decisive on other questions, why not equally so on this?HST March 22, 1843, page 18.2
Has not the doctrine of the personal coming of Christ, to abide and reign on the earth, and a literal resurrection of the saints and martyrs at the Millennium, been ably defended in more modern times, by some of those learned and pious men already named: bishop Newton, Faber, and others? Where, then, is the unparalleled absurdity or fanaticism of Mr. M.? In what consists the novelty, even, of his expositions of Scripture, save his writing 1843, instead of 1836—1866, or some other year, so far in the distant future as not necessarily to alarm the present generation?HST March 22, 1843, page 18.3
Inquiries of this sort might be greatly multiplied; but the above will suffice to indicate the nature and extent of the information wanted at the present time, to remove the difficulties felt by many minds. And there can be no doubt that informing the community generally, not only that Mr. M’s views are erroneous, but wherein they are so, and what the Scriptures do really teach in relation to this great and absorbing subject, is the most rational, and will ultimately prove the most effectual way of guarding against that wide spread infidelity which has been so often predicted, as the consequence of the prevalence of the second advent doctrines, as preached by Mr. M. and his followers. If it be a truth, as a clergyman of your city is reported to have lately said, that theologians have been pursuing, one after another, an in erroneous path, “till they had worn the cart-rut so deep that they could not get out of it,”—then let them lose no time in extricating not only themselves, but the “common people,” who would gladly know the truth, from so unfortunate a predicament;—that all may rejoice together, unitedly, and gratefully acknowledging the instrumentality of William Miller in effecting so happy a deliverance. Then we may hope that those who, concerning this matter, make Pilate’ s inquiry, “what is truth?” will be so answered as not to be specially reminded of the time immediately succeeding that when, it is said, “the whole earth was of one language and one speech; and they said, Go to, let us build a city,” etc. UNUS POPULI.HST March 22, 1843, page 18.4
Letter from Sister N. K. Crane
My Dear Brother Himes:—From the nature of an associate faith, on the kingdom of Christ, I have often felt prompted to write you some of my correspondent views, and this is all the apology a good conscience can offer for addressing you.HST March 22, 1843, page 18.5
My situation, for three months past, has been where the subject of the Second Advent is not much spoken of. The Episcopalian minister (Mr. Bent) has delivered a course of lectures in the Town Hall, which have been very seriously attended. He is a man that fears God, and cares for the flock entrusted to his care. The views that he advanced were those that arose to his own mind, from studying the Word of God,—with here and there a reference to the same faith the Christian Father, held many centuries ago; expressing a sympathy of respect, and a unity of faith, for the person and research of bro. Miller. On many points they met. I believe the seed he has sown, on this subject, will spring up; the state of the soil was stony, choked with thorns, fallow and sterile: the Spirit of the Lord will shed the dew of heaven thereon—it was God’s truth, around which light always shines Aside from him no Watchman now occupying the walls of Zion utters one word. Being thus cloistered, I have studiously applied my mind where my heart would go, to compare the word of the living God, and very blessed have winged away most of the Sabbaths.HST March 22, 1843, page 18.6
The 37th chapter of Ezekiel I took, by the light of the Holy Spirit, to investigate; there I traced the unity of the Jew and Gentile nations, which swept away the supposed partiality God has for the Jews. Again, by reading the 3rd chapter of Ephesians, the obscurity of the Gentile’s salvation was imbedded in mystery, till the Holy Ghost removed the seal; even so now I comprehend in like manner we understand what is’ the nature of Christ’s kingdom in the new creation, and the era of time; by virtue of spiritual affinity to Christ the Head, the soul receives power to believe things to come, and rejoices in hope of the glory of God. Our blessed Redeemer told his disciples the Spirit should take of the things that were his, and show them unto them, being thus joined unto the Lord, the spirit, free from the alloy of corruption, holds up the telescope to the divine Chart, and the heir perceives its promised inheritance; enduring, with patience and faith, all necessary discipline while marching to that city, where it shall be said, “the Lord is there.” Zion’s location is not only beautiful but high. What echoes will reverberate when the weary encampment rests. The standard-bearer will faint no more—the banners will drop their peaceful drapery on hallowed ground; and the songs of victory, with redemption completed, will form that holy parapet that shall be salvation.HST March 22, 1843, page 18.7
I am constrained to go very often to the Holy Ghost, that he will direct a lecturer here. I feel that darkness excludes from the church what is the hope of her calling. My eyes are expecting the feet of some one on the mountain, to publish unto Zion the glad tidings.HST March 22, 1843, page 18.8
The spirit has come—I see it gathering like rain all over this village, and my soul is placed in the position to wait till all the pools are filled with rain: as by the spirit we can only comprehend the things of the spirit.HST March 22, 1843, page 18.9
Recently, on reading Rollin’s Ancient History, I found an editorial remark, that in prophecy a day stood alike either for a day or year. History informs us Nineveh stood just forty years after its repentance. The’ God bears long with the wicked progeny of man, he never trifles with the precious soul, but in his long suffering often redoubles similar tokens of his displeasure. The Scriptures often revert to the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, to Egypt, to Tyre and Babylon: examples of vengeance, which are a figurative representation of the wrath to come. The first negotiating principle in the government of God continues, “rising early and sending the prophets.”HST March 22, 1843, page 18.10
The spirit of unbelief that now pervades Christendom represents the parable, when knowledge and hatred entered into confederacy, “This is the heir, come let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.” Immutability of purpose is invested in Jesus Christ; he is the rightful heir, and no counterfeit holds alliance with him;—the redeemed all stand ready to “crown him Lord of all;”—joy looks through the windows of promise for the coronation day.HST March 22, 1843, page 18.11
How beautiful the church begins to look while coming up out of the wilderness—“Holiness unto the Lord “has become her travelling suit, and in that garb will she enter into the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.HST March 22, 1843, page 18.12
My dear brother, while you have labored in the thorny part of the vineyard, many of the saints have gone before you with the preparatory sickle—prayer—that an abundant entrance might be given unto you; while you have gone out to take the spoil, the reaper and laborer have rejoiced together. May the Lord give you wisdom and patience adequate to your day.HST March 22, 1843, page 18.13
Many souls have gone up to the court of heaven through the preaching of Christ’s coming being near at hand, and many are going out to meet him. That you may go up from your toils, brother, with much spoil, is the prayer of one who hopes to meet the Son of God with joy.HST March 22, 1843, page 18.14
Letter from Sister S. C. Rugg
Bro. Himes and Bliss:—In this year of our Lord, 1843, I am expecting my Savior to come. The vision will soon speak, and not lie; though it tarry, I shall wait for it: it will surely come, it will not tarry—no, not beyond the appointed time, which is the bounds of man’ s habitation, which cannot be passed.HST March 22, 1843, page 18.15
Although our beloved brother Miller has been laboring long to break up the fallow ground and sow the seed, he has now the satisfaction of knowing that his labor has not been in vain. The harvest has now come, and he soon will be gathered, bringing his sheaves with him. Our campaign has been much shorter, during which the battle has waxed hotter and hotter. But, blessed be God, new recruits are coming up to the help of the Lord, as the final conflict approaches. It would seem that our veteran soldiers might be excused, speaking after the manner of men; but praise God’s holy name, they have not grown weary in well-doing; but having on the gospel armor, they still stand fast to the faith once delivered to the saints. Surely the Lord doeth nothing but he revealeth his secrets to his servants the prophets. The time of the end has arrived also, and the seal is broken. Apostolic faith is being revived, and God’s children are discovering, from his word, that one is their master, even Christ, and they are all brethren.HST March 22, 1843, page 18.16
Believers in the Second Advent are searching the Scriptures daily, to see if these things are so, and the holy Bible is the man of their counsel; from its sacred pages they learn that the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God, that it is not by might nor power, but by the Spirit of God, that we are to be led into all truth. Fortunate, indeed, for the weak of this world, that the Gospel is accessible to all; the wayfaring man, though a fool, shall not err respecting it. O praise the Lord.HST March 22, 1843, page 18.17
I have been strongly impressed, of late, that the Lord is taking the work into his own power, and God’s children must be careful now, not to run before they are sent, lest they labor in vain, and spend their strength for naught. In the body are many members, but all have not the same office. So also are there different gifts, but all by the same spirit. God’s building is coming together without sound of axe or hammer, whose building we are, if we hold fast our confidence unto the end.HST March 22, 1843, page 18.18
We read in the 24th of Matthew: And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. Surely, then, the coming of the Lord draweth high. The cry has gone forth: “Behold, the bridegroom cometh,” multitudes have gone into the highways and hedges, warning sinners to repent, and get ready for the judgment.—God is searching his people as he did ancient Jerusalem, with candles. They no longer see men as trees walking, but they see clearly that without holiness no one shall see the Lord. As far as I can learn, Second Advent believers embrace this faith, that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin; by its application out garments are kept unspotted from the world. He that plunges into this purple flood loses all his guilty stains. Yes! the dark shade of sectarianism, which separates the disciples of Christ, and which is the last strong hold of Satan, disappears when Jesus’ blood is applied by faith. I rejoice that Christians of all denominations are beginning to examine, and believe too, in the doctrine of holiness. But, dear Brethren, I feel that there yet is room for farther improvement in this heavenly science. We are not to gain the victory with confused noise, and garments rabled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire. For unto us a child is born; unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulders; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and justice, from henceforth and forever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this. The Lord says, by the same prophet, bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. Surely the word of the Lord is a safe tower into which the righteous may run and be safe. The Lord is our surety.HST March 22, 1843, page 18.19
Dear Brethren and Sisters:—I have believed in Christ’s speedy coming for about five years; I have not been idle in this cause. The Lord assigned me such a portion of this work as he knew I could accomplish. My commission was from the court of heaven, and my credentials run thus: “Go work in my vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give thee.” I looked to God for wisdom and went to work. I have purchased books and various publications, and distributed them far and wide, in every direction almost; and as I am in the habit of writing considerable, I have made it a point to write much upon this subject, to many in different parts of the United States. Although I have been severely tried, in many instances, yet God has blessed my soul in this labor of love. I believed it was God’s truth, and this was sufficient reason why I should proclaim it to a dying world. When I have suffered for it, it has been for Christ’s sake. I would take hold of some cheering promise, and thus hold on to the truth by faith. Satan has assailed me with every kind of temptation, but believing, as I do, in the teachings of the Spirit, I would immediately be able to discern from whence the temptation came, and then I would remember the promise of Jesus, that I should not be tempted above what I could bear; also that in every temptation he would make a way for my escape. Thus far Jesus has been with me, and he still is with me, and I have his promise that he will be with me even unto the end I have no anxiety about my future state. I leave that. My care is to do my master’s will, finish up my work and be ready; having my lamp trimmed and burning, to go into the marriage Supper of the Lamb. Brethren and Sisters be sure,HST March 22, 1843, page 19.1
“The Bible is your chart;
By it the seas we know;
We cannot with it part,
It rocks and sands doth show:
It is our chart and compass too,
Whose needle points forever true.”HST March 22, 1843, page 19.2
Lift up your heads for your redemption draws nigh, all ye who love his appearing. I anticipate coming to Boston when the tabernacle is finished, unless the New Jerusalem should come down first; if it should, we will meet there, which would be far better. SARAH C. RUGG.HST March 22, 1843, page 19.4
Signs in the Heavens
Dear Brother Himes.—The Comet, which was visible on Tuesday, the last day of February, would have been, under the most ordinary circumstances, an object of the most sublime and devout interest; but at the present time, it appears to me, there are but few who could have looked upon it without feelings of joy or terror. Such a sight is rarely, if ever, witnessed in the day time; but this was visible throughout the day, until some light clouds arose in the west, towards sunset, by which it was obscured. The first information of it, I believe, in this place, was given by the stage driver from Gloucester, whose attention was directed to it by the people of Essex, about six miles from us. I first saw it about 10 A. M., and it was visible every time I looked out during the day, until the clouds, referred to above, rendered it invisible.HST March 22, 1843, page 19.6
Its remarkable brilliancy was a matter of wonder. You recollect that Venus was seen at New-York on the day fixed for the execution of Colt, but it required the greatest effort to find it out by the eye, and it was equally difficult to fix the eye upon it after it was traced out. Venus also appeared at a considerable distance from the sun, but this Comet was apparently only about 15 min. from the sun, when first seen, and, perhaps, 45 min. when I last saw it; and yet it was so brilliant that it could be easily seen by the naked eye.HST March 22, 1843, page 19.7
The Comets which have appeared for some centuries have been anticipated by our astronomers, and have been seen by glasses some time before they became visible to the naked eye, so that their arrival has been regarded with just about the same feeling as that which is created by the arrival of a steamship, or a train of cars; but I do not know that any one has informed the world that this Comet was to be looked for; nor have I heard that it was seen until the day above named.HST March 22, 1843, page 19.8
Considering all these circumstances, its appearance at the present time made it to me, as I know it was to others, an object of surpassing interest. I could not but think of “the Sign of the Son of Man in heaven,”—for, although the “sign” referred to by the Savior is not particularly described, it has been supposed, by many, that it would be similar to that which guided the “men” to the birth place of our Lord, at his first coming.HST March 22, 1843, page 19.9
I am truly thankful that my attention was directed to it, and that I had so good an opportunity of observing it. It waked up within me feelings such as I have never before experienced; feelings it would be difficult to describe; though I do not know that I could ask that I may possess any others, in that day for which we have been looking for some time, and which we soon expect to see. If ever I felt a Savior precious,—unspeakably precious, it was while gazing upon, or thinking of that star as “the Sign of the Son of Man.”HST March 22, 1843, page 19.10
As to my own personal prospects I could have shouted aloud, though I could not but feel pained for those around me, many of whom are near and dear to me, and who confessed, too plainly, that they were unprepared for that day. Let us be found watching—watching to know the will of God, and do it; watch our hearts, lest they be overcharged with surfeiting or drunkenness, or cares of this life; watch the signs of the times; when ye see all these things begin to come to pass, lift up your heads and rejoice, for your redemption draweth nigh.—Watch for the actual coming of our blessed Lord Jesus, lest coming suddenly, he find us sleeping.HST March 22, 1843, page 19.11
Rev. Mr. Driver’s Lecture
Dear Brother Himes:—Rev. Mr. Driver, who supplied the Baptist pulpit last Sabbath, in Chelsea, at the close of the afternoon service gave notice to the congregation that he would preach on Millerism in the evening, stating that he had studied the prophecies for fifteen years. The notice undoubtedly excited some interest among the people, as a number of lectures had just been delivered on the Second Advent of our Lord. But more especially from the fact that brother D. had studied the prophecies for fifteen years.HST March 22, 1843, page 19.13
In the evening he announced his text, . “When Christ who is our life shall appear then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” After stating that it was not in opposition to brother Harvey, whom he esteemed as a gentleman, and as a Christian, and who preached a great deal more truth than many who oppose him, and after making an apology for using the term Millerism in the notice of the evening lecture, he proceeded to his subject. He stated that the doctrine of the second coming of Christ was very much neglected by the church, and that it was a prominent theme of apostolic preaching. He showed, from the Scriptures, the certainty, manner, and circumstances of Christ’s Second Advent. And then proceeded to answer the inquiry, when will he come?HST March 22, 1843, page 19.14
In answer to the question, brother D. referred to , When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet—stand in the holy place, whoso readeth let him understand.HST March 22, 1843, page 19.15
This abomination, he said, did not mean Antiochus, Mahomet, or Nero, as a recent writer had tried to show, nor did the holy place mean the church, but a new abomination that was yet to stand in Jerusalem, the holy place. When we saw some abomination standing among the Jews, he should then conclude Christ would soon appear. Forty-nine ministers differed on the time when the little horn arose, thirty-two proved false—John Wesley, and Lorenzo Dow.HST March 22, 1843, page 19.16
He then referred to the day scheme, as he called it, and stated that the principle of interpreting a day to mean a year, would at once reach the Bible out of the hands of God.HST March 22, 1843, page 19.17
He then stated that there were four defects in Mr. Miller’s theory, and would give a running commentary on the closing part of the eleventh chapter of Daniel, which Mr. Miller applied to Napoleon. He acknowledged Mr. Miller’s exposition was quite ingenious—but there were four defects.HST March 22, 1843, page 19.18
He then stated that many writers on prophecy, had fixed on the time of Christ’s second advent. Between 1778 and 1847, fourteen opinions—eleven had already proved false. He had examined thirty-eight writers on the little horn, seven trumpets, seven seals; and stated that there were thirty different opinions, From all these opinions what are we to learn respecting the little horn, seven trumpets, seven seals, etc.HST March 22, 1843, page 19.25
The above was sent us by a correspondent who was present at the delivery. We give it as we received it, as a sample of the measures in operation to quiet the fears of sinners, and prevent backsliders from returning to their first love.HST March 22, 1843, page 19.29
We wish those who oppose, would offer some thing new, as a reason of the hope that is in them, that Christ will not come. It seems that they can only reiterate each others arguments, and all of every sect and creed use the same arguments.HST March 22, 1843, page 19.30
Letter from Luther Boutell
Messrs Editors:—I have just returned from a tour of three weeks in Vermont, to proclaim the Midnight Cry, in connection with two other brethren, and the Lord has been with us; we had meetings in Grafton and Londondary, of eight days each. The Lord poured out his spirit, backsliders were brought to life, sinners converted to God, in fact, both towns were shaken by the power of God, and, as strange as it may seem, two ministers of Londondary, (Congregational and Baptist.) came in and labored heart and hand with us, and when we left, were about ready to go out and proclaim, Behold the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out and meet him. The great obstacle in the way of the progress of this glorious cause, is Sectarianism, it will not do to admit anything into her synagogues that will disturb her Priests or her interests. These sects are no less than the children of the old Mother of harlots, and the cry of God is, “come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, that ye receive not of her plagues”. O that people would hear this cry and flee for their lives, as Lot did out of Sodom, for here alone is our safety; but bless the Lord, the wise shall understand, and glory to his name, he is in this truth wherever proclaimed faithfully. Thy brother in full belief of the speedy coming of the blessed Savior.HST March 22, 1843, page 19.31
SIGNS OF THE TIMES
Why will not the Savior Come in 1843?
2nd. It is expressly declared that the wise shall understand; and we are also commanded to know that it is near even at the doors, when are seen the signs which are to mark the approach of that day. The righteous are not in darkness that that day should overtake them as a thief: and it is to be as it was before the flood, when all who were saved did previously know the time of that event. The event of Christ’s coming will therefore be previously foreknown.HST March 22, 1843, page 20.4
2nd. It is expressly predicted that the tares and wheat will grow together till the end of the world: that that wicked will be destroyed by Christ’s coming; and that same power will make war against the saints and prevail against them until he come. There is, therfore, to be no such state previous to Christ’s coming.HST March 22, 1843, page 20.7
2nd. It is expressly declared by the apostle, that the promises to the seed of Abraham are good only to the household of faith; to those who are Christ’s. There are therefore no promises to the carnal Jew which will delay that event.HST March 22, 1843, page 20.10
V. It cannot be delayed by any want of the signs which were to precede that event, for those have all been repeatedly shown to be fulfilled, and to mark these days above all others.HST March 22, 1843, page 20.14
VII. It cannot be delayed by any thing which is to transpire after the fulfillment of those periods; for the 2300 days reach to the cleansing of the sanctuary; and the sanctuary is to be desolated till the consummation. At the end of the seven times Israel is to be restored, including all the household of faith: and Daniel is to stand in his lot at the end of the 1335 days.HST March 22, 1843, page 20.18
VIII. It cannot be delayed by any thing which our opponents have presented against it. For ridicule and assertion have been shown by the history of the world to avail nothing. AndHST March 22, 1843, page 20.19
New Style of Scoffing.—Scoffers having done all that they are able to in the line of words—having exhausted their magazine of hard speeches, epithets, and denunciations, are now driven to another mode of attack, viz. carricature prints. They serve an inexorable master, who keeps no idlers in his employ. His servants are “led captive at his will,” and are ready without compulsion, to do his bidding; yet as he owes the Second Advent cause a peculiar hatred, he is out upon it with “great wrath, knowing that he has but a short time;” and hence, though his journeymen are free to do their utmost, the old tyrant is even disposed to “ride a free horse to death, if by that means the coming of the Lord may be counted a delusion, and the resurrection a humbug. But who would suppose that any one, in his senses, could ever be driven to the performance of such an extra-hazardous and heaven-daring work as that of publishing pictorial prints, carricaturing one of the most blessed truths that God has revealed to man? A carricature ridiculing God’s veracity! Yet this has been done. Such a print was shown us by a friend on Saturday last, which we will describe.HST March 22, 1843, page 20.22
A large iron safe labelled, “Patent Fire Proof Chest,” is represented with the door open. Within sits a man having before him a hogshead labelled “Ice,” and apparently filled with that material. Just above his head appears a shelf, having upon one end a cheese, a knife and tumbler, in the centre a demijohn marked “Brandy,” and at the other end two boxes labelled, “Crackers” and “Real Havanna.” Suspended to the inside of the door is a large Ham and a fan; the key is also in the lock inside, and a cord attached to a ring at the top of the door passes through another in the top of the safe, and hangs down near the occupant, who thus can close the door at a moment’s warning, and lock himself in. He is represented sitting with his right hand raised, the thumb renting against his nose, the fingers extended, and apparently describing a semi-circle. At the bottom of the picture are the two following lines:HST March 22, 1843, page 20.23
“A MILLERITE PREPARING FOR THE 23rd OF APRIL
We do not notice this ridiculous and foolish affair on account of any supposed injury it may do us or the cause we advocate, but out of love and compassion for those who are so thoughtless and unwise as thus to engage in the dirty work of the devil. We wish solemnly to warn and assure persons thus employed, that the fruits of such labor will be most bitter indeed. And we pray them to stay their hands for their own sakes—They think the Millerites are deluded. But we know that scoffers at God’s truth, will “suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” They may think too that we are annoyed, or that our peace is disturbed by these efforts on their part; but be assured, dear friends, so far from true is this, we can declare that such things invariably tend to increase our joy, and to strengthen our faith, for we remember, at such times, that an apostle has said, “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you; on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.” .HST March 22, 1843, page 20.25
From Utica, N. Y.—Brother Dutton writes from Utica on the 6th inst. as follows: We have just returned (brother Patten and myself,) from Floyd, in this county, and never have we seen the power of God so manifest in the salvation of sinners. Two hundred were forward repeatedly for prayers, and multitudes were brought to the feet of Jesus. It was altogether a Second Advent revival. They were converted to 1843, and the whole people were astonished at their power, and the confidence with which they spoke. We now start for Clinton, to commence another meeting. All our time is taken up away from home, and probably will be till the Lord comes.”HST March 22, 1843, page 20.26
The Rev. Wm. R. Weeks, D. D., of Newark, N. J. has recently published an article in the New York Observer, in which he points at what he terms fifty-eight mistakes in brother Miller’s chronology, and says he has many more in reserve for another opportunity. His article appears to be a rich dish for all scoffing journals in the country, as they are devouring it with the utmost greediness.HST March 22, 1843, page 20.27
We very much fear, that unless our Reverend friend shall find himself as happy in detecting his own errors as he fancies he has been in discovering brother Miller’s, that he will perceive very soon that he has made one mistake that will prove infinitely fatal to himself and all who follow in his footsteps.HST March 22, 1843, page 20.28
Mr. Thomas Whittemore.—We give in this day’s paper, an article from his pen relating to us. He judges us, as being selfish, and dishonest. That we are making a speculation out of the solemn and awful scenes of the judgment at hand. Now whether this be true or not, those best acquainted with all our affairs, can judge. But Mr. Whittemore, as publisher of the Trumpet, and various books in defence of Universalism, judging out of his own heart, could come to no other conclusion than he did. We understand that Mr. Ballou stated long since that Mr. W. was interested in promoting Universalism for the money that was to be made out of it. And a property of forty or fifty thousand dollars, from such a source, and from such motives, certainly would bias a man’s judgment very considerable, in such a case.HST March 22, 1843, page 20.29
“The Midnight Cry, and Watchman’s Alarm.”—We have published under the above title, Miller’s Lectures on the Second Coming of Christ, thirteen in number, consisting of the following.HST March 22, 1843, page 20.30
Added to these is an article entitled, “Objections Reversed,” and a full catalogue of all the publications, which are now to be had at the Second Advent Depot, 14 Devonshire St. Boston. For convenience in mailing, as well as reduction in postage, this work is now published in two double sheets, containing thirty-two pages, of the form and size of the Signs of the Times. Postage under 100 miles, two cents, over 100 miles, 2 1-2 cents. Price, 12 1-2 cents.HST March 22, 1843, page 20.45
Brother James Mcchesney of Brooklyn, N. Y. has, we perceive, issued proposals for publishing twelve numbers, weekly, of his paper, the “Spirit of Washingtonianism.” The object of the paper will be seen in the following extract from the prospectus.HST March 22, 1843, page 21.1
“Its object shall be purely Truth, on all subjects, without regard to other interests, (even should it have to stand single-handed and alone,) and if possible to awaken true wisdom to action, if it has an existence among us. Its aim will be to expose those degrading principles which too long, hitherto, have governed the human breast, which in part may be discovered in selfishness, bigotry, pride, and superstition, (in any departments of society) as being the direct and positive opposites to the principles that must govern the Universal Kingdom of God’s dear Son; and the only thing that ever ought to have inhabited the heart of men in any place,—namely, “To love the Lord our God with all our heart, might, mind and strength, and our neighbor as ourself.” “This being both the law and the prophets”—and we may add, the Gospel also. Such is the course we propose to take, through divine mercy, although it may be somewhat original.”HST March 22, 1843, page 21.2
Ceasar circulating Second Advent Publications. When Brs Skinner and Caldwell first arrived in Canada, they left a bundle of books at a certain hotel in Stanstead, while they went to inquire after their friends, supposing their books would be perfectly safe, as they had not passed the custom house nor had they opened their bundle; and as the landlord assured them they would be in no danger of seizure. After they left, they found their friends and brother Caldwell lectured in the evening. The scoffers of the place having ascertained that the books were upon the Second Advent, informed the custom house officers, who forthwith proceeded to seize them, and immediately sold them at auction; by which means they were scattered in various parts of the country, and caused probably to do more good than they would otherwise. Thus the Lord caused the wrath of man to praise him, and overruled their efforts to destroy the truth, by making them instruments of sounding the Midnight Cry.HST March 22, 1843, page 21.4
In a communication by John Mayer, D. D published in London, A. D. 1652, he says, page 534, that, according to the computation of time by the Chaldeans, the seventy years of . that the Jews were to serve the king of Babylon, were apparently fulfilled. He then quotes Syria as saying that “out of the Hebrew traditions Belshazzar, seing the seventy years spoken of by Jeremy, come and Babylon still standing, although besieged, and the Jews, by the coming on of another monarch not delivered, hereupon took occasion to slight that prophecy, and as if all danger were past, to make that great feast to his princes that he did, and so when he was most secure was cut off.HST March 22, 1843, page 21.5
From Gardner, Maine.—The following is an extract of a letter from brother James White, dated Gardner, Me. March 4th, 1843. “Since I left Palmyra, in January, I have lectured at different places in the following towns: Sidney, Augusta, Gardner Richmond, etc I find no opposition but from Universalists and cold-hearted professors. Most of the preachers are silent on the subject of Christ’s immediate coming. Some of them tell the people they are willing to wait for time to decide the question. Brethren, I cannot wait. God forbid that I should fold my arms in lazy-lock while sinners are sinking to eternal night. My appointments at present are at Richmond, Borden, Bordinham, Brunswick. The people adopt the rule of the wise man to hear with both ears and then judge. Our meetings are as solemn as the house of mourning. Sinners are coming home to Jesus. Glory to God.”HST March 22, 1843, page 21.6
Brethren who write for the Signs of the Times, are earnestly desired to study brevity in their communications, otherwise it will be impossible to publish them. We have a large number of communications now on hand, which have been accumulating for several weeks, some of which from their great length, we are not able to copy into our columns. We shall endeavor to give, however, extracts from most if not all of them, that may in any wise advance the cause of truth.HST March 22, 1843, page 21.7
Some of our subscribers complain of irregularity in getting their papers. We assure all such, that the utmost care is used in mailing the paper regularly every week to each name upon our books. The fault must lie at the door of persons disconnected with our office.HST March 22, 1843, page 21.8
Letter From Calvin French
Dear Brother Himes:—When I left Boston on the 1st inst. I was expecting to give a course of lectures at Woonsocket, R. I. On arriving there the 2nd, I was informed that brother S. S. Snow had given seven lectures in the day time, but as there could be no place obtained large enough to accommodate near all that would come, it was tho’t best to have no lecture in the evening; under these circumstances I was satisfied it was my duty to seek another field, in which to labor; I called on brother M. W. Burlingame, who informed me that the Freewill Baptist Meeting house in Greenville, had been obtained, and that the people in that region were waiting for a course of lectures, having never heard one.HST March 22, 1843, page 21.9
Brother B. invited me to visit them, and kindly obtained for me a conveyance; by 4 o’clock P. M. I had travelled a circuit of about thirty miles, and found myself within eight miles of Providence, and about four miles from Scituate, which place I left in the morning, where I lectured the week previous. Truly “It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.”HST March 22, 1843, page 21.10
I commenced my labors on Friday the 3rd. The number that first attended was small, as the notice was short, but the Spirit’s presence was manifest, and the power of truth was felt in the hearts of those present, an increasing interest was manifested, so that early on Wednesday, there were more present than could be accommodated in the lower part of the house; at noon the congregation visited the water’s side, and witnessed the baptism of three happy souls on a profession of their faith in Christ. As we believe our Lord will so soon come, how important that all who obtain an evidence they love him, and desire to be found at his appearing, walking in all his commandments blameless, make no delay in any duty.HST March 22, 1843, page 21.11
At 2 o’clock the house was filled with attentive hearers; at the close of the lecture, from 1For Kenber, read Reuben.] among those seeking for salvation were those of years, the middle-aged and the youth., more than two hundred came forward for prayers, some, that they might have a correct understanding of the Scriptures, others, that they might obtain the blessing of entire consecration to God, and not a few, that they might obtain the forgiveness of their sins, and peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Among the first mentioned class, was again found our beloved brother Reuben Allen, who was for a number of years the pastor of this people, [vide “Signs of the Times of March 8, page 7, HST March 22, 1843, page 21.12
Brother Allen spoke with satisfaction of the light he had obtained since hearing the lectures at Scituate, and that he might not stand in the way of any, he felt it duty publicly to confess that he believed beyond a doubt that the 2300 days would end this year, and that the evidence from the Bible was altogether in favor of its being the end of all earthly kingdoms, he most tenderly exhorted the congregation to be ready for “that day.”HST March 22, 1843, page 21.13
At the close of our meeting on Thursday, he mentioned there had been much said and published, about the fanaticism and fright that accompanied the preaching the advent near; he called on the congregation to witness there was none of it there, neither was there any who appeared to be made in the least insane, but the opposite, they were like those who had come to themselves, and were resolved to arise and go to their Father, the silence of the meeting being occasionally broken by those who had obtained a blessing or by the deep sigh of those who ardently wished one.HST March 22, 1843, page 21.14
I closed my labors with this people on Thursday eve. I do not believe that during the week’s lectures there was the least noise made with a design to disturb their quietude. A Christian spirit prevailed in all our meetings; some who had cherished hard and unkind feelings in times past, towards their brethren and fellow-men, confessed they had lost them here, did forgive, and wish to be forgivven.HST March 22, 1843, page 21.15
I have spent this day with my dear family, and should it be the last, I hope with them and all the redeemed to be “caught up together to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”HST March 22, 1843, page 21.19
On Saturday, 18th, I expect, the Lord willing, to commence a course of lectures at Olneyville, about two miles from Providence, in the Free-will Baptist meeting house. Yours in love.HST March 22, 1843, page 21.20
The Comet.—There seems to be no longer any reason to doubt that a real bonna fide comet, in its wanderings through the vast regions of space, has approached within ken of the inhabitants of this quarter of the earth. The train was distinctly visible last evening at twilight, in the south-west, and was probably seen by thousands of individuals—and its appearance is of a nature to convince every beholder that its character is altogether different from that of the zodiacal light. Our astronomers at Harvard, as usual, have been napping—but the star-gazers of Yale have been examining this strange celestial visitant, as appears by the following article in the New Haven Palladium:HST March 22, 1843, page 21.22
“The Comet. This remarkable body, which since the first instant, has been seen in the day time in several places so distant from each other as to leave no doubt of its being truly a comet, presented itself to us in admirable style last evening about 7 o’clock, exhibiting in the south-west a long and narrow train, in shape not unlike the representations transmitted to us of the celebrated comet of 1680.HST March 22, 1843, page 21.23
The following observations made at the observatory of Yale College, though not sufficiently precise for scientific purposes, may serve as a general guide to those who may be on the look out this evening. Rising from the horizon about 18° south of the west point, at an angle with it of 29°, it extended for 30° along the southern part of the constellation Cetus, or the Whale, grazing on its southern margin the star tau Ceti, and terminating, so far as visible, at the star tau Eridani. Its light was rendered less striking by the presence of the moon, then six days old: but should its course bring it fairly into view in the nocturnal sky, it promises to be one of the finest comets ever seen.HST March 22, 1843, page 21.24
1. Rejoice, rejoice, the promised time is coming, Rejoice, rejoice, the wilderness shall bloom;And Zion’s children then shall sing,The deserts all are blossoming,Rejoice, rejoice, the promis’d time is coming, Rejoice, rejoice, the wilderness shall bloom The Gospel banner, wide unfurl’d, Shall wave in triumph o’er the world, And ev’ry creature bond or free, Shall hail the glorious jubilee. Rejoice, rejoice, the promis’d time is coming, Rejoice, rejoice, the wilderness shall bloom.HST March 22, 1843, page 22.2
2. Rejoice, rejoice, the promis’d time is coming,Rejoice, rejoice, Jerusalem shall sing;From Zion shall the law go forth,And all shall hear, from south to north.Rejoice, rejoice, the promis’d time is coming,Rejoice, rejoice, Jerusalem shall sing;And truth shall sit on ev’ry hill,And blessings flow in ev’ry rill,And praise shall ev’ry heart employ,And ev’ry voice shall shout for joy.Rejoice, rejoice, the promis’d time is coming,Rejoice, rejoice. Jerusalem shall sing.HST March 22, 1843, page 22.3
3. Rejoice, rejoice, the promis’d time is coming,Rejoice, rejoice, the “Prince of Peace” shall reign;And lambs may with the leopard play,For naught shall harm in Zion’s way.Rejoice, rejoice, the promis’d time is coming,Rejoice, rejoice, the “Prince of Peace” shall reign;The sword and spear of needless worth,Shall prune the tree and plough the earth,For peace shall smile from shore to shore.And nations shall learn war no more.Rejoice, rejoice, the promis’d time is coming,Rejoice, rejoice, the “Prince of Peace” shall reign.HST March 22, 1843, page 22.4
THE LAST DAY
What means this change of scene, this dismal gloom?
And why does nature such a face assume?
Why is such horror marked in every face?
Why does each countenance indicate distress?
Why does the voice of lovely music cease?
The organ, dance and song, no longer please?
Why does proud laughter into mourning turn?
Why mirth and folly now no longer known?
Why from their orbits are the stars removed?
And why is Cynthia veiled in crimson blood?
Why does the Sun forget to lend his light,
And chain the gloom of “universal night?”
Why does strong death unloose his mighty chain?
Why does the grave unlock her gates again?
Why does the sea roll back her mighty deep?
Give up the dead, that ‘neath her billows sleep?
Why do the thunders shake the heavenly frame?
Why do the lightnings wrap the world in flame?
Why, like a drunkard, reels this trembling ball,
And in convulsions, back to chaos fall?
Jehovah comes! He bows his throne on high!
He treads the earth! He mounts the lofty sky!
The trumpet sounds! by His supreme command,
The dead must rise, and now in judgment stand!
O day of vengence! O most direful scene!
No band of angels can the sinner screen;
No arm above can shield him from the rod,
Nor mountains hide him from his God.
Must I be there? and must this soul of mine
“Depart” with sinners or with angels shine?
No longer sleep, in haste, make no delay,
Prepare, my soul, for this tremendous day.HST March 22, 1843, page 22.6
In heaven, that blissful place
Where those that love our God,
Redeemed by Sovereign grace,
But wash’d in Jesus’ blood;
There shall we meet, and round the throne
Sing what Redeeming Love has done.HST March 22, 1843, page 22.9
O what a num’rous throng,
The Holy city tread!
People of every tongue,
Who once in sin were dead,
Now raised to life, stand round the throne;
Sing what Redeeming Love has done.HST March 22, 1843, page 22.10
While in this “thorny maze,“
How often we are oppress’d!
But soon our souls, through grace,
In heaven shall be at rest,
And pure as seraph, round the throne,
Sing what Redeeming love has done.HST March 22, 1843, page 22.11
Far, far above this world,
Where naught can e’er molest,
The saints with harps of gold
Shall sing—shall reign—shall rest.
There shall we meet, and round the throne,
Sing what Redeeming love has done. E. C.
Ware-House Point, Jan. 19th, 1843.HST March 22, 1843, page 22.12
Letter from L. B. Coles
Brother Himes,—Having been laid aside from my labors the past week by a severe attack of cold I spend a few moments of my convalescence to communicate with you, and other friends of the cause we plead.HST March 22, 1843, page 22.13
How fearful to a gainsaying church, and joyful to them that look for the appearing of their Lord, is a passage, hastening to its ultimate fulfillment, in . “Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his word; your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my names sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.”HST March 22, 1843, page 22.14
Not long since I visited a place to lecture, according to previous arrangement by some advent friends—a house had been procured a week or two previously to ray arrival, by vote of the church; but finding a lecturer had come, and having been imbittered toward the doctrine of the advent by their minister, and the export of certain terrible results of an advent meeting in an adjoining town where several wicked backslidden church members had confessed their deeds of dishonest dealings among men, had turned their rum-hogsheads into the highway, and committed sundry other like alarming evils, the prudential committee sagely and resolutely refused to fulfill the pledge the church had given; and were fully sustained by their minister; who assured me that his sole object in desiring me not to lecture to his people, was the glory of God. I assured him the most desired proofs of God’s approbation had hitherto attended this means for the salvation of souls, and that the same effects would unquestionably be witnessed there if permission were given for lectures; yet he insisted that the glory of God required the entire exclusion of the advent doctrine and its advocates. What a fulfillment of prophecy; “Your brethren—that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, “Let the Lord be glorified.” But how changed the scene, when He who is our life “shall appear to our joy and they shall be ashamed.” Who can look upon the fearful condition and tremendous responsibilities of opposing ministers and people, without exclaiming, “O that my head were waters, and mine eyes fountains of tears-----! How many are saying, “My Lord delayeth his coming”—are smiting their fellow-servants, and are eating and drinking with the drunken! How many, professing better things, are strengthening the hands of the Infidels, Universalists, Swearers, Sabbath-breakers, and all kinds and sorts of haters of God and the day of Judgment.HST March 22, 1843, page 22.15
Sometimes the devil outwits himself; he pushes ministers and people beyond the better judgment of those who make no pretensions to religion. It was so in the case just mentioned. The opposition on the part of the minister and some of his friends was so flagrant and determined, that a sympathy was excited somewhat extensive in behalf of the advent cause among those who were destitute of personal piety.HST March 22, 1843, page 22.16
The cry of partyism—divisions of churches, fills the air around us. The devil transforms himself, and feels a wonderful concern now for the safety of the church; in like manner as he felt for the ancient Jewish church, when the gospel was preached by Christ and his Apostles. “These that turned the world upside down, are come hither also.” These Jews “do exceedingly trouble our city,” were salutations met by the apostles at every turn. The Lord knows all would not harm his people, nor demi-semi-subdivide his broken, scattered heritage. We would simply persuade them to love the appearing of our blessed Lord, and rally their energies to rescue souls from the fires that will soon enwrap the earth. The dividing of the church we leave for the Bridegroom, when he cometh. O what a dividing of churches then! when the five shall be taken, and the five shall be left! I fear that those who raise the loudest cry against divisions now, will be separated with the chaff when He shall come, whose fan is in his hand.HST March 22, 1843, page 22.17
Let us have little concern with the numberless petty falsehoods and sarcasms of ungodly professors and sinners. We cannot come down to them; we have a great work in hand. Why let the work cease to catch a falsehood from a lying tongue! We cannot stop the mouths of the haters of God: as well might we stop the Dragon from spouting mire from the bottomless pit: indeed their foul stuff is from that same fountain. Nay, the current of opposition will go on, with increasing impetuosity, till its Niagara fury has passed down the cataract of the infernal deep, and its proud noise is lost in the wailings of endless woe.HST March 22, 1843, page 23.1
Notwithstanding the fearful events which await this generation, I bless God for an existence in it; especially for the privilege of being numbered with them that give the “midnight cry.” And if all enjoy this field of labor as I do, and see the hand of God in it as I think I do, they have great cause for humility, gratitude and increasing zeal. I never before enjoyed so full assurance of personal acceptance with Christ, both as respects my salvation and my call to the ministry. But we need unwonted qualifications to meet the emergencies that surround us. As we draw nearer the hour when the Trump of the Archaugel shall sound, the more fierce will be the war waged against us, and the more bold the menaces of a gazing, wondering world. But who would not endure all that a world can do or say for an abundant entrance into that glorious, Everlasting Kingdom which will come, and will not tarry, to reign with our God forever and ever. Yours in Second Advent bonds. L. B. Coles.HST March 22, 1843, page 23.2
Letter from Brother Solomon Hale
Dear Brother Himes:—For five months past I have examined the subject of which your valuable paper treats. I have examined a part of brother Miller’s Lectures, and have examined brother Litch’s views on the Second Coming of Christ to my satisfaction. I have never felt to oppose the coming of my blessed Savior. While living in the faithful discharge of my duty to God, this year, I believe the Midnight Cry is sounded and sounding through the world. There is not more than three or four, small number, in this village of 8,000 inhabitants, who are willing to admit of the near approach of Jesus Christ. I feel as though I stood alone almost in this cause. But I find nothing to discourage me in researches for truth, but to the reverse 1 receive at every step almost, as I search, light on the subject.HST March 22, 1843, page 23.4
I rejoice in the frequent opportunities of laying the subject before many that I have intercourse with. I am often surprised, when bringing the subject before them in all its bearing, which have opportunity to do, and find professing Christians so ignorant of numberless passages which are brought forward in favor of the subject. I find them often using passages of scripture which relate to the wicked, for example, , that this is to be the case of the whole world, and thus destruction comes upon the righteous as well as the wicked, and sweep them all away. Another example, , leaving the 4 verse, I hardly know what to call such perversion of God’s word. O I bless the Lord that my attention was called up to the near approach of our great Deliverer. My mind was called to this subject 14 months ago. I had not heard a Lecture, nor heard this subject talked of nor read the writings of any person upon it, but I neglected the subject almost entirely for 6 months, although it was pressed home upon my mind. I felt a reluctance to investigate it, and I the only reason was, I was not serving God with all I my heart, might, mind and strength, and seeking to know and do his will. And after about 6 months, the power of God, by the operations of his Holy Spirit, operated upon my mind in a powerful manner. I continued two days under a great struggle of mind, at the end of which I was constrained to obey the will of my Master in Heaven, and took up my cross. And O that joy and peace that flowed into my soul no tongue could tell, or language express. I could exclaim with the Psalmist, Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his great and holy name.HST March 22, 1843, page 23.5
I have wrote many pages upon this subject and sent them to different parts of this State wherever I am acquainted. I have never seen your paper to read it until this last winter, but since I have read, and seen how the brethren in the Second Advent cause show forth and breathe the feelings of my heart, ray soul has been richly blessed. O may the Lord open the blind eyes, and the people be willing to have them opened, to the near approach of Christ. I wish brother Miller or French, or some one would lecture here. It is a very wicked place. “Why dwell so much on Christ’s Second Coming?” say many my brethren. I love his appearing, and have nothing against his coming, next year or this year. I am expecting and looking for ray blessed Lord every moment, and expect to be one of that happy number admitted to the marriage supper of the Lamb. Yours, etc.HST March 22, 1843, page 23.6
From H. B. Skinner
Dear Brethren Bliss & Himes:—Since I left the States, four months since, I have been doing what I could for Canada—we have lectured from Montreal, through most of the eastern townships—down the St. Francis, to Melbourn, etc. The way is now open to Quebec. We have now published 1000 copies of our little paper weekly, though we have only about 140 subscribers—the rest, we have spread broad-cast all over the country—the enemies as usual have done their worst—the Sherbrook Gazette, and most of the Montreal papers, have poured upon us with the voracity of a hungry tiger, yet thank God, we live—there are a great many believers in this country, and they are mostly the tried coin. Some miserable stories have been circulated in the state’s papers, we perceive, in regard to our friends in Stanstead—we have been acquainted with our brethren there since our first arrival in this country, and we declare it as our honest conviction, that if there are any persons on earth, who are “filled with faith and the Holy Ghost,” they are to be found among the Advent brethren on Stanstead plain. It is possible that in some of their meetings they may have been a little too enthusiastic—they do not profess to be perfect any more than others, and if ever they err by running to excess, there are no persons more willing to confess it than they are. The reports alluded to above, we hesitate not to pronounce, as a whole, a vile slander upon as good brethren as ever lived.HST March 22, 1843, page 23.9
We have circulated all the books we have been able to get. I brought some of the synopsis here, but they have long since been scattered. We are pledged to publish our paper seven weeks longer, if the world continues. The expense in publishing is $22 per week—this allows nothing for services rendered—we ask no compensation—it is enough for us, if we can serve the cause. Our funds at present run low—the friends in this country are poor—very poor—as to money, there is none circulating. Brother, if you can in any way, without interfering with your own interests, help us a little, it would be timely just now. Whatever is now in your hands in favor of Canada mission, we want very much. Will you please send it by mail to Sherbrook, Canada East, and mention it in the Signs of the Times, as forwarded? Brother Caldwell will furnish you with all the particulars in relation to Canada. We are sorry to have him leave; I feel it my duty to remain here for the present. I need brother C. to go to Quebec with me. But I hope to get brother Hutchison, the Wesleyan missionary I told you of he is now at Montreal, he is a very smart man and carries all before him. Finally, the work goes on with power in this region. The whole country has been shaken—especially the Lower Province. Yours truly.HST March 22, 1843, page 23.10
“Owe no man, and render to all their dues.”
Having recently seen cause of complaint in some who believe in the speedy coming of Christ, I would suggest a few thoughts in relation to the duty enjoined on every one to “owe no man and to render to all their dues.” It is an undeniable fact that there are some even among Second Advent believers, who live in the violation of these moral duties. In so doing, they as much violate and disobey God, as if they broke all the commands of the Decalogue. “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” God has never given one command to clash with another. Neither has he in any form sanctioned a neglect, or an unfaithful performance of our pecuniary affairs. But commands us, “Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.” Again He says, be “not slothful in business.” No one can be truly honest who willfully neglects to pay his debts, and to render to all their dues. Neither can a man be truly honest who does not by industry, temperance, and economy, labor for the support of those dependent upon him, and also that he may have the means to do good to the bodies and souls of all within the reach of his influence. God commands us “to do good to all men.” Second Advent believers are as much commanded to occupy till Christ comes as any class of men, and should consequently obey the injunction “to be given to hospitality, and to distribute to the necessity of saints.” The Apostle Peter says “I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up, by pulling you in remembrance.” Again the Savior, while in flesh, and all the Apostles, have set us an example of diligence in the performance of every duty of a worldly as well as religious character. Brethren and friends, let us try to imiate them in all these things, so that our Lord, when he cometh, shall find us so doing. B. S.HST March 22, 1843, page 23.11
Died.—At St. Armand, L. C., on the 23rd of February, Miss Virtue Adams, only daughter of Abel Adams, Esq. She was a young lady eminently distinguished for amiableness of disposition and literary taste. And what perfected all the rest, “she possessed an intelligent and heartfelt piety. She was made a subject of the converting grace of God, a little more than two years since, at a protracted meeting held by myself and my beloved colleague, the Rev. M. McDonald, in the Wesleyan Chapel, near her father’s residence. Soon after she received Christian baptism and joined the Wesleyan Methodist church, of which she continued an ornament, till she passed through death’s triumphant home. She bore her last sickness, which continued six weeks, with exemplary patience, and Christian magnanimity. And in the 21st year of her age, leaving the scenes of earth, she sweetly “fell asleep in Jesus,” in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life at the termination of the thousand three hundred and rive and thirty days,” when Daniel and all the blood-washed along shall stand in their lot in the land of Israel. It is hoped that this mysterious dispensation of Providence will have a salutary effect on her very numerous acquaintances, both in Canada and the United States.” “Be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh.” R. H.HST March 22, 1843, page 23.12
Elder Hines’s Safe.—Elder Himes is one of the Miller party. He insists that the world is coming to an end in the course of the year 1843, and perhaps very soon. But whatever the Elder’s faith may be, it is certain that he has recently purchased one of Thayer & Edwards’s Salamander Safes, and it is put up in his office! Now, if the Elder believes the world is coming to an end so soon, what does he want of this Safe?HST March 22, 1843, page 24.2
1. Is he fearful that he is not one of the righteous? Does he think he will not be caught up into the air when the earth is burned? and does he intend to creep into this Salamander Safe?—Now, this is not a bad plan. The Elder wants two strings to his bow. If he is one of the righteous, (of which he has some doubt,) then he will be saved from the flames by being removed from the earth during the burning? but if it shall turn out that he is not one of the righteous, (which is more probable,) he intends to be locked up in the Safe, and thus be secured from the fire. It the Elder has driven some people out of their wits, it is certain that he has got a little cunning left to himself.HST March 22, 1843, page 24.3
2 But there is another view we may take of this subject. We understand the Elder has made large sums of money by the Miller excitements.—He has, we believe, kept three or four presses running continually, and has sold large quantities of papers and books. He has made a large amount of money. The public may see some proof of it in his dress, for he is clad much better than he used to be. He keeps a large Salamander Safe to protect his cash from fire, in case the building burns, as well as from thieves. Now is not this Elder a shrewd man? He does not wish to lose his cash, which has accrued to him from the excitement; and the building which he occupies is in as great danger of being consumed, by an accidental conflagration, as any other building. Is it not wise then for him to buy a Salamander Safe?HST March 22, 1843, page 24.4
To be sure, the Elder preaches that the world is coming to an end very speedily; and if the world is so soon to end, we see no reason why the Elder should desire to hoard up cash in iron chests! Will he please to explain this a little?—He is making exertions to amass wealth. Where the excitement dies away a little, he is sure to add fuel to the fire to keep it going, even though he makes people insane. It is a money-making concern; and if the rum-sellers may make money out of what injures, the community, why may not others do the same? Does not the Elder need an iron Safe? But we see no reason why he should desire to be rich. If his doctrine be true, what does he need of wealth and Salamander Safes? Will not this transaction lead honest people to suspect that he is playing a deep game upon the credulity of the community, to make himself rich? and that he believes no more in the speedy end of the world than other folks?—Trumpet. Edited by Thomas Whittemore, and the principal organ of the Universalists in New England.HST March 22, 1843, page 24.5
We have no hesitation in saying that the above is about the most contemptible article we ever read. It displays throughout, instead of a spirit of candor and charity, the narrow soul of the whining bigot and self-important Pharisee, who would hold up his Christian brother to public scorn and ridicule merely for an error in judgment—for Millerism, at the worst, is no more than this. It is quite as sensible Christianity as any we have in this age of quackery, and a hundred fold more consistent than the mongrel stuff called Universalism, for that cannot justly claim even the miserable recommendation of being a Bible doctrine. We have not the smallest relish, however, for Millerism; in the light of common sense and the nature of things, we look upon it as altogether absurd: yet, believing its followers to be perfectly sincere and their doctrine eminently scriptural above all others, we think their Christian opponents, instead of ridiculing them ought to meet them fairly on Bible ground, and show, if they can, by that standard, wherein they are at fault. It is truly contemptible for Christian professors, whose whole lives have been devoted to the study of the Bible, to dodge this momentous question in the manner they do, when it is considered that the earthly happiness of millions is depending upon it. The fact is, Millerism involves the truth of the most important doctrine the Bible contains—nay, the truth of the Bible itself, as any one will see who has given the subject the least attention. It is based on the strongest foundation—the book of Daniel; and if it means anything, if it is not down-right imposture, then Millerism must be correct, because on any other supposition the prophecy has already been fulfilled, which nobody pretends to believe. Now, what is the duty of the opponents of this doctrine? Evidently, to put it down by Scripture authority, if they really believe it erroneous. They can very easily do this, if such authority preponderates against it. They will say, in reply, that it would not avail any thing—that the Millerites cannot be reasoned with, etc. But this is directly evading the subject; and it is, besides, very unlikely, as will plainly appear by a moment’s reflection. The Millerites, as it is well known, have established their doctrine upon Bible evidence;—they look upon the Bible as their sole supporter; and such being the case, is it at all likely that they would cling to their doctrine if they could see evidence from the Bible that it is wrong? No, not a man or woman among them, because to their minds the Bible being unimpeachable, they would come at once to the conclusion that they were in error. Therefore, they will believe Millerism until some other doctrine is better established by the Bible, and then they will renounce it, and not before.—But are they reasoned with in this way? No. The clergy who oppose them are too lazy, or stupid, or cowardly to attempt it. With but few exceptions they assail them with personalities, as in the case of the Trumpet, (though not quite so gross,) and parade their private affairs before the public, for no earthly object that we can conceive of, save to bring upon them the ridicule and contempt of the community. Fie upon it, Mr. Trumpet! A man at your time of life, a Reverend, too, and full to overflowing with pretensions of universal benevolence, ought to set a better example than to be indulging in childish spleen and senseless twattle, which, if offensive in an infant, arc contemptible in a man.HST March 22, 1843, page 24.7
SECOND ADVENT CONFERENCE IN GRAFTON, VERMONT
There will be a Second Advent meeting in Grafton Vt., to commence Tuesday the 28th of March, at 10 o’clock, A. M., to continue a number of days. The people in the neighboring towns are invited to attend; lectures on the coining of Christ each day may be expected. per orderHST March 22, 1843, page 24.8
Received to March 18th, 1843. Fairhaven, Mass; Portsmouth, N H; Augusta, III; E. Bethel, Vt; Hartford, Vt one dollar in advance; Shelburne Falls, Ms; Swanville, Me $1; Vienna, Me; Dedham, Ms; Washington, Ala; Lake Pleasant, N Y; Kensington, Pa; Warrior Bridge, Ala; Durham, Me; Atkinson, Me; West Prospect, Me; Troy, Me; Williamantic, Ct; Brooklyn, Ct; Francestown, N H; E. Washington, N H; Sanbornton Bridge, N H; Washington, N H; Gaysville, Vt; South Mendon, Ms; North Ashford; Sharon, Vt; Eden, Vt; Avon, Ct; Athens, Me; Welton, Me: E. Limington; W. Stafford; Hingham, Ms; So. Hadley Canal, Mass; Low Hampton, N Y $2; South Bend, Ind; E. Medway, Mass; Charlotte; Cabot, Vt; Princeton, Ms; New Boston, N H; Portsmouth, N H; Bernadotte, III; Danvers, Ms; North Rochester, Ms; Morristown, Vt; E. Haddam, Ct; Meriden, Ct; Pomfret, Ct; So. Wilbraham, Ms; Buckland, Ms; Richmond, Me; Saratoga, N Y; Dover, N H; Litchfield, Me; W. Prospect, Me; Bangor, Me.HST March 22, 1843, page 24.19
John H. Race; L. G. Atwood; S. B. Newcomb; C. Granger; A. Camp; C. Church, Jr. $1; S. Hale; A. J. Williamson; T. L. Tullock; E. Wyman; Jonas Woods, $10; F. G. Brown; Several Individuals Sturbridge, Mass; Walpole, N H; Joshua Goodwin, $4, receiv’d; L. Boutell; A. Phelps; C. Friend; E. T. Wilson, $10; Ambrose Way; Peter Bean; Rufus Pike; D. Mason, $7; J. Wheeler; M. M. George; Alvan Ward; Wm. Bradford; J. Sanborn; E. Andrews; Dan. H. Gould, and others; Stephen D. Bickford; C. C. Churchill; Thos. Allen; D. F. Birbee; Sarah E. Piersons; S. Hawley; J. M. Cobb, $4; C. Houghton; T. Wrighten.HST March 22, 1843, page 24.20
E. T. Willson, Nantucket, Mass; Box, 36 Park Row, New York; Rev. A. Sawin, Leominster, Mass, chart; W. H. Peyton, N. Salem, Ms; R. Pike, Pomfret, Ct; A. A. Partridge, Jamestown, N. Y.; R.W. Pratt, Lowell, Mass.HST March 22, 1843, page 24.21