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Ellen G. White: The Early Years: 1827-1862 (vol. 1)

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    Chapter 12—(1850) The Summer the Tide Turned

    Present Truth, in ten issues published over a period of eleven months, heralded the third angel's message, with the Sabbath truth as the focal point. But the eye of the Lord saw a need extending beyond this—something that would bring men and women who had been in the great advent awakening to see that experience in its true light as the work of God. Ellen White wrote of this on August 4, 1850:1BIO 179.1

    The Lord showed me that he, James, must take the testimonies that the leading Adventists published in 1844 and republish them and make them ashamed.—Letter 8, 1850.1BIO 179.2

    A few days before this James wrote of the instruction:1BIO 179.3

    The Lord has shown Ellen that I must publish the testimonies of those who acknowledged the work done and the Advent move of God after 1844. Now this is my first work. I expect to get out a paper called the Advent Review, sixteen pages, the size of the Present Truth.

    I shall, if I have means, put in a slice of Cook's Testimony and [Bates's] Way Marks, et cetera, et cetera. The cause calls for it. I hope to get out six numbers, three thousand copies each, [which] will cost $250. I shall move as the means come in....1BIO 179.4

    My way is onward. Men of Israel, help. Now is the time to work for God. For your encouragement I will state one case where the papers did much good. Someone requested me to send the paper to Betsey Benson. I sent two copies. She read one and sent the other to Sister Thomas. Both came into the truth. At the Johnson, Vermont, conference, Sister Thomas gave me $25 to publish with. So you see the cause will move on.—JW to “Dear Brother,” July 21, 1850.1BIO 179.5

    In early August, James and Ellen White moved to the home of Brother Harris at Port Byron, New York. There he undertook to publish the journal reviewing the experiences called for through the vision. He could get it printed at nearby Auburn. He explained the object of the paper in an opening editorial statement:1BIO 180.1

    Our design in this review is to cheer and refresh the true believer, by showing the fulfillment of prophecy in the past wonderful work of God, in calling out, and separating from the world and the nominal church, a people who are looking for the second advent of the dear Saviour.1BIO 180.2

    Those who claim to be Adventists should, to be consistent, acknowledge the means that God in mercy has employed to bring them to the light of the Advent truth, and which has made them what they are. No one will deny the fact that it was the proclamation of the time, 1843, as it was written on the chart, that aroused the Advent people to look for the Lord.1BIO 180.3

    If that alarm had not been given, none would have been waked up to see the true light, and those who rejoice in the “blessed hope” would now, doubtless, be covered up in the mist and darkness of the nominal church. We cannot, therefore, see the least consistency in the position of those who call themselves Adventists, and at the same time call the very means that has brought them to this scriptural faith and hope “a mistake,” “fanaticism,” “mesmerism,” and, as some have said, “of the devil.”1BIO 180.4

    What! shall we rejoice in the “blessed hope,” and then turn round and curse the means that heaven has employed to bring us to its light and glory? God forbid it. Such a course, ... such a position, is not only inconsistent in the extreme, but blasphemous.—AR, August, 1850.1BIO 180.5

    He declared his intention to republish the writings of the leaders in the Advent cause and to “show that they once boldly advocated, and published to the world, the same position, ... that we now occupy.” This he declared would show “who have Left the Original Faith.”1BIO 180.6

    As the content was to be largely a reprinting of earlier published materials, he was able to pull things together rather quickly, with four numbers put out in August and September. Added to this was an Extra in September bearing the same theme but carrying the signature of Hiram Edson in nearby Port Gibson.1BIO 181.1

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